Samsung patents S Pen featuring built-in camera with optical zoom

Image Source Samsung via USPTO

Samsung who are known in recent years for producing devices with outstanding camera quality, have noted in the patent that digital zoom is inferior to optical (perhaps suggesting there will be some optical zoom capability) and direct reference to externally controlled sensor which could be a simple as a button on the pen or other unnamed technology. Samsung's last S-Pen used a supercapacitor to quickly charge the device via the stylus slot.

Keep in mind this doesnt mean the upcoming Galaxy Note will necessarily have a camera in its S-Pen.

The patent drawings for the next-gen S Pen stylus show the optical lenses in the base of the pen with an image sensor about a quarter of the way down inside the stylus. All you get is a clean, bezel-less, all-screen face.

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Samsung's S-Pen stylus has traditionally been included with its Galaxy Note smartphones, and the latest iteration connects to the Note 9 via Bluetooth and can be used to remotely take pictures via a button on its side. Honestly though, that sounds like kind of a faff - busting out the S-Pen every time you want to practice your pout. Using the extra space in the stylus opens up an opportunity to include a wider range of optical zoom options.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Android Pie update continues to make progress and it looks like it's still on track for a release in early 2019. We are in the eighth generation with the Galaxy Note 9 - remember, Samsung skipped the Galaxy Note 6 ... This could be ideal when taking notes during a meeting or lecture, allowing users to snap a photo of a presentation slide via the S-Pen to convert it to text, much like Google Lens and Microsoft's Office Lens. However, since the S Pen only comes with the Galaxy Note handsets, it was assumed by many that this feature could come in a future Galaxy Note flagship.

It's unclear if/when we can expect this tech in a new smartphone (although the patent mentions support for notebooks and monitors too).

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