Gadgets can catch on fire, we've seen it happen many times. From laptop to smartphones no gadget been able to avoid that small margin of error that batteries can produce which leads to the explosion. Fortunately (well, thanks to a lot of hard work actually) it doesn't happen very often and most devices are pretty secure, there's no reason to go through life avoiding contact with technology in case something explodes.
Samsung is trying to close that small gap with a new battery technology which relies on solid-state rather than liquid like current batteries do. This new technology is coming from Samsung SDI which is Samsung's battery division and was shown at a trade show in South Korea, Samsung's home town.
The new batteries will not only be fireproof, they'll be flexible and shock resistant making them perfect not only for future smartphones and tablets but also other gadgets like smartwatches or glasses. We've seen imaginary concepts for smartwatches where the battery rest on the band and this kind of technology gets us a step closer to that dream, which would in turn make smartwatches much thinner than current offerings.
How do these new batteries work? Well, like Android Authority points out, the batteries contain a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid one that's used in current Lithium-ion batteries. As with everything liquid it moves and shakes with the device and sometimes they can leak and burn which is what causes the explosions and fires. Another cause of issues is that sometimes, the liquid ions can create metal deposits on the electrodes while the battery is charging, which can create short-circuits. We don't want short-circuits inside our phones which could be anywhere from our night stands to our hands or our pockets.
Solid batteries don't leak, mostly because there's nothing to leak since it's all a single piece which completely avoids all the issues stated above. However, Samsung has said that this tech is not ready yet and the estimate for a usable solid state battery is 2015, which is when Samsung believes they can match current batteries in terms of efficiency.
Maybe we'll see these batteries in the Galaxy Gear 3 or the Galaxy Round 3. Samsung has shown their prototype which means that LG Chem shouldn't be far behind. Your move LG.