October 25, 2005 - Though Olympus hopes to develop a tiny hydrogen fuel cell prototype by 2008 (which we covered here), Canon has beaten them to it. Today Canon announced that it has already developed three small hydrogen fuel cell prototypes of varying sizes; one that could fit in a printer, one in a cell phone, and one in—of course—a digital camera.
Unlike Olympus, which is focusing on ammonia borane as the basis of its hydrogen cell fuel, Canon is trying to work out a system involving refillable hydrogen cartridges, which could possibly be restocked at Canon outlets. Hydrogen fuel cells are even more efficient than the lithium-ion batteries in use today, which power most high-drain small electronic devices. Both systems are also environmentally friendly.
Canon tentatively projects that their technology will be ready in three years, at which time hydrogen fuel cells will ideally start to appear in some of their printers and digital cameras.