In a sense, strained-gate transistors are merely a reinterpretation of the piezoelectric nanowire--defining the wire as the transistor's channel and its bending as the gate to turn it on and off. But by demonstrating that logic circuits can be constructed using this reinterpretation, these researchers makes a strong case for defining a new field called piezotronics.
Interesting invention. I think more can be developed when it comes to sensing motions or energy harvesting. I wonder maybe one day this kind of technology can be implanted inside a living body so that computer can directly deal with our muscle contraction.
Thinking of strain gated switches on a nano scale, Bionics seems like a good area of application. Also, think with nanobots technology progressing rapidly, a mechanical interface to logic is a welcome step.
It sounds similar to what Nantero's carbon nanotubes base NRAM. The second half of the article is actually pretty interesting, think about it, the receptors in our eyes actually convert photons to mechanical energy to "touch" the nerve ends. There may be some applications in artificial vision.