The S Pen is Samsung’s productivity tool that’s used on smartphones, tablets and even notebooks. On the latest version with the Galaxy Note9, the S Pen doubles as a remote control with its built-in Bluetooth module. You can use it as a presentation clicker or as a remote shutter control for the camera app.
Now it appears that Samsung has bigger plans for the digital stylus. According to a newly surfaced patent, Samsung is exploring the idea of having an electronic pen device that has an optical zoom.
The patent was originally filed by Samsung back in 2017 but it was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Based on the illustrations, it focuses on providing an optical zoom feature by having an optical lens at the end of the S Pen.
The patent document features several design variations but it is quite certain this is intended for the Galaxy Note smartphone based on figure 4B. The S Pen will have a small image sensor and it could come with or without a battery. The current S Pen for the Note9 uses a super-capacitor that can provide up to 30 minutes of usage with a quick 40-second charge in the silo.
It is worth mentioning that it is normal for companies to file patents but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be put into commercial production. I’m not sure about you but using a stylus to take a picture doesn’t seem to be practical as it would be hard to frame your shot. Since the Note is about productivity, it could be used for optical character recognition or as a dedicated document scanner.
With screens getting bigger with virtually no bezels, this could be an alternative solution to solve the selfie camera conundrum. Imagine, using the stylus to take a selfie if the camera is tilted at a 90-degree angle.
The next Galaxy Note is expected to be revealed in the second half of the year and it would be interesting to see what would Samsung do next for the upcoming S Pen.