Where was this technology last week when I dropped my poor little iPhone while trying to balance it on top of my Chinese takeout? The answer is not in sight! And well…Apple hasn’t discovered it, yet. That much I do know cause I still have the scars on my phone to prove it. For the rest of Japan and it’s multitudes of cellphones however there may be a cure to my balancing act insanity.
Automobile materials technology trickling down to the consumer products sector: About four years ago Nissan, working with researchers at the University of Tokyo and a company called Advanced Softmaterials Inc., quietly developed “Scratch Shield” paint, which “self-heals fine scratches and is capable of restoring the vehicle’s paint surfaces overnight or up to a week’s time in more severe cases.” Nissan has since been applying it to select models, like the 370Z and the Murano.
Other types of manufacturers have become interested, and now Japanese communications giant NTT DoCoMo has licensed Scratch Shield for their cell phones. As we dig them out of our pockets, purses and bags, mobiles probably take more of a daily beating than we’d allow our $40,000 sports cars to experience.
Alas, the spread of this materials technology is still in its nascent stages, so while Scratch Shield is available on cars as far from Japan as the UK, the self-healing paint will only appear on Japanese-market phones for now. That means no iPhone love for now. Shame.