What? A team of British scientists have developed prototype "smart bricks", building bricks that incorporate microorganisms capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight. The bricks are made from bio-reactors filled with microbial fuel cells and algae. When placed together they create digitally coordinated bioreactor walls that monitor and adapt to environmental conditions, including modifying a building's air quality and recognizing occupants.
So what? Living walls made of smart bricks could help households and businesses live more sustainably with little effort from the occupants. Such buildings would have programmable walls--each wall the equivalent of a parallel computer--able to take a variety of waste inputs, such as grey water and carbon dioxide, and generate a variety of useful outputs, including electricity, oxygen, and potable water.
Source: Phys.org - Smart bricks will transform how buildings work