This little black chip could disinfect water in only 20 minutes according to phys.org. This “nanostructured device” (phys.org) would use the sun to aid in disinfection of water. This little chip could save many hours of having to boil water in order to disinfect it. Could this be a practical solution? The development of this technology could revolutionize third-world countries by allowing for access to clean water decreasing water borne diseases but this chip fails to deliver if it is a practical solution for world-wise use. It could however have some practical means in the build environment.
The goal of this technology is to eliminate the need to boil water for use. Now this sort of device would be ground-breaking because it would eliminate the need to use resources to boil the water. What makes this so special is that in scenarios where heating water is not an option, this chip could help. This chip works by using sunlight to activate hydrogen peroxide within the chip to kill bacteria. The big downside to this technology on the other hand is that at this current state, the chip does not remove chemical pollutants. This is a significant factor in the practicality of the chip.
Although the material has its downsides, I believe it could have some practical uses in the architectural field. I imagine once this chip is fully developed multiple chips could line the inside of a swimming pool or even a holding tank of fresh water. Of course this material is nowhere near the potential it could serve, so it would be best to hold some optimism for the material, but thinking critically about it could help further understand if it is a practical solution. Supporting through critique and analysis is how we better understand future technologies in our world.