As we move forward into a new era of smart technology, the focus of researchers has shifted from creating new devices with new functions. Instead, they now focus on including new functions in existing devices.
This is why we are seeing so many objects around our house getting new features that we wouldn’t traditionally associate with them.
While it is easy to imagine things like your refrigerator, AC Unit or TV getting involved in this trend, there are still somethings that we have a hard time accepting as “Smart” innovations.
One such example of unconventional “Smart” innovations is the bricks that we use to build our house. Yes, you heard it right, bricks are now a smart object.
Making this possible are the scientists from the University of the West Of England (UWE Bristol), who have found a way to turn bricks into living objects that can serve multiple purposes.
They did so by embedding bricks with Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC’s). MFC’s are energy transducers that take advantage of the metabolic activity of microbes in order to break down organic waste and generate electricity.
By passing various types of inputs (grey water, carbon dioxide, sunlight, algae, bacteria and nutrients) through this new construct, the researchers will be able to produce a lot of valuable materials in return (polished water, oxygen, electricity, heat, biodegradable detergents, biomass and biofluorescence).
Although at this stage we still don’t know how exactly this system will work, or what special provisions will have to be made to include these bricks into housing structures, but the fact that something like this is being developed gives us a brilliant insight into the future of architecture and technology.