University aims to build 'vanishing' tech gear

Smart Phones
Posted at 6:56 AM, Jul 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-16 03:06:13-04

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Imagine this: Instead of throwing out your old cell phone, it will self destruct.

That's the idea behind a project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where a group of researchers is looking into how to build electronics that vanish in water.

John Rogers is a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the university. He says the goal is to design technology that would let outdated technology "melt" away at the end of its useful life, saving space in landfills and reducing waste.

The research team isn't there yet. But it has designed a chip that vanishes when hit with water. It's built on a thin film of silk.