Yeah, I'm like everyone else on the fire pistons. They are cool, they work, but their only real value is to amaze youth groups with primitive fire making techniques. Weight, bulk and fiddle factor are the main issues.
If you were marooned on a desert island that happened to have bamboo, you could make one. So I suppose playing with it can improve your survival skills. Marginally. Along with knowing how to get fire with a fire-drill, a fire-plow, and a fire-cord.