Since the exploding Note 7 cost Samsung billions, and damaged the company's reputation quite substantially, it has become a little obsessed with batteries. It's particularly interested in making batteries that don't explode, although one might question why this wasn't more of a focus previously.
Samsung's battery division SDI has been putting a lot of time and research into making new types of batteries and could be as near as two years to making a new non-exploding battery. The problem with Lithium-ion cells is that they have to contain a liquid electrolyte which allows ionic movement between one electrode and the other (the cathode and the anode). It's this liquid that's unstable and can cause a battery to overheat and explode, especially if it is exposed to air.
A solid electrolyte would remove the problems with leaking and general explosions, producing a much more stable battery that could be used in everything from phones to cars. It's especially useful to have a reduced explosion risk in cars, although the risks of this are minimal as it's much easier to protect the batteries in a car than in devices where size and weight are a bigger factor.
Although Samsung's interest in these batteries seems logical given its experience last year, it's also fair to say research on this has been going on in various companies for a while now. Toyota has its own research, while LG's battery division is looking to introduce solid, or solid-like batteries within the next couple of years. Solid-like has some advantages of solid-state, but are easier to produce. [via: SlashGear/Korea Herald]