It's a Faraday cage for your armrest.
Nissan has developed a novel yet so-obvious-why-didn't-we-think-of-that-before ways to keep drivers from checking their phones while behind the wheel.
The Nissan Signal Shield is a center console lined with metal, which blocks incoming and outgoing cell signals. You simply place your phone inside it and you'll stop getting annoying beeps alerting you about your second cousin's workout. If that technology sounds familiar, that's because it's a Faraday cage.
Invented by British scientist Michael Faraday in the mid-1830s, a Faraday cage surrounds its contents with closely woven mesh of metal. The conductive properties of the mesh end up canceling electromagnetic waves that come in contact with it, so even though the cage walls aren't solid, the signals can't get through.
A microwave oven uses a Faraday cage, which is why your flesh doesn't also cook while you're standing next to it waiting for your frozen burrito to thaw out. The mesh can be seen through the transparent door of the oven.
However, in addition to cell and wifi signals, the Signal Shield also cancels out Bluetooth. So not only will you not be able to check out your BFF's brunch, you won't have your tunes or podcasts available either. Nissan UK says that the Signal Shield is still in its prototype stages, currently developed for the Juke. It's still a noble effort to combat phone use while driving, which has jumped from 8 percent in 2014 to 31 percent last year, according to the RAC (the UK's equivalent of AAA).
In summation, it's a clever solution for a modern problem — using a technology from the early nineteenth century. Or, you could, you know, just not check your phone by using willpower.