Most of the time, old cell phones, laptops and mp3s end up in landfills somewhere waiting to well, pile up even higher. This issue sparked the research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to investigate how to build electronics that disintegrate in water.

The vanishing technology program, titled Born to Die, involves designing transient tech that can dissolve at the end of its usefulness. The goal is to reduce waste in landfills and to possibly use it for future medical care and the military. The research team also suggests that this type of technology is a lot healthier for the planet.

“We’re talking about electronics that are very specifically engineered to have excellent properties— time independent—until that moment which you don’t need the device anymore and then it dissolves away. That’s the trick," said John Rogers, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the university.

So far, the project is still in its early stages but the research team has developed a chip that was built on a thin film of silk. Once the chip is hit with water, it instantly dissolved, leaving no trace whatsoever.

[via WashPo]