Smartphone makers are experimenting with thoughts like pop-up cameras and hole-punch displays to eliminate the notch, but Samsung has a very unique concept to accomplish the feat. According to a patent granted to Samsung, the organization is looking to incorporate a camera to the stylus which may eventually debut to a future version of the S Pen. Even more impressive is how the camera fitted inside the stylus will have optical zoom components for a more superior magnification compared to digital zoom.
Spotted from the people over at Patently Mobile, the patent awarded to Samsung by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is titled”Electronic pencil apparatus having optical zoom” and talks about a stylus that comes equipped with an optical system which includes of a lens and an image sensor. As per the patent record, the camera-toting S Pen would include a control board designed to operate in tandem with an electronic device that might well be a smartphone and also features a communication module.
The stylus would be capable of sending the imaging signals or information to the connected device via a cable in addition to wirelessly, maybe through Bluetooth. The S Pen which is included with Samsung’s latest Notice flagship – the Galaxy Note 9 — already has Bluetooth support. So, the camera-equipped stylus explained in the patent might just be an evolutionary type that assembles on the wireless connectivity service of its predecessor and utilizes it to send imaging data captured from the onboard camera. Even the stylus would also feature a control key inside the housing or the cover that could be utilized to control the size of optical magnification.
What’s really impressive is that Samsung’s camera-laden S Pen will have support for optical zoom that the mechanism is going to be controlled through an external electronic device that may be a smartphone, notebook or a track. Samsung explains in the patent that smartphones normally employ digital zoom, but at the process of expanding an image by means of a program or algorithm, the overall quality of these images takes a hit. Optical zoom employs a range of lenses, and because a stylus will provide more space to match such a module, so it’s better suited for an external device as opposed to a smartphone that doesn’t provide enough space and will need to increase its thickness for accommodating the optical zoom components.
In accordance with the patent, the Samsung’s advanced stylus will also incorporate a battery and a prism in the optical path for conversion of signals. The technology of equipping the stylus using a camera is still in the patent phase, so it might still be a few years away before we see that an S Pen having an optical zoom-enabled camera arrive with a Galaxy Note flagship. Just like most patents, it is uncertain whether the technology will make its way to commercial products. Nonetheless, it would still be a major breakthrough and will present another way of avoiding the notch or a hole-punch and help create a really seamless display.