Imagine taking a selfie with your phone, but by holding the stylus up instead and having access to an opitcal zoom. That’s potentially what a future Galaxy Note smartphone will offer thanks to this patent.



A future version of the Galaxy Note smartphone could ship with a surprise in the S Pen. Rather than just being a very useful stylus that slides into the phone for storage, a new patent suggests it will have a camera embedded in the end complete with an optical zoom.

As Patently Mobile reports, the patent in question was filed back in Feb. 2017 and entitled “Electronic pen device having optical zoom.” It was granted to Samsung on Feb. 5 this year, meaning this is an idea the company could now choose to use in future versions of the S Pen.

The S Pen is already useful when taking a photo as it can act as a remote control for your phone. However, this patent takes things a step further and would allow you to just use the S Pen as the camera. Better yet, it has optical zoom allowing for a true zoom lens and better-quality images compared to the limited image processing offered by a digital zoom.

The patent suggests one or multiple lenses could be embedded into the S Pen with a button on the side controlling zoom. There’s also a note by Samsung that the S Pen may also be supported on future laptops and monitors by including a slot for it. That isn’t a new feature, but supporting an S Pen that doubles as a camera could make for some novel solutions. For example, you wouldn’t need to make space for a webcam above the display in a laptop.

As with all patents, even those granted to a company, there’s no guarantee Samsung will decide to add a camera with optical zoom to the S Pen. However, the only reason I can see they wouldn’t decide to is if battery life isn’t good enough. The battery you can fit inside a pen is very limited in size and therefore capacity.



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