A future iteration of the Galaxy Note could feature a speaker built into its iconic S Pen stylus. Samsung has patented the idea, which sees a tiny speaker embedded in the S Pen’s tip that could negate the need to have speakers in the phone itself.
Samsung’s S Pen was originally mocked when it was introduced with the first Galaxy Note smartphone, but over the years, it has become a beloved staple of the Note lineup and evolved into something that users increasingly rely on.
This year’s S Pen, which ships with the Galaxy Note 7, has an improved design, new software features, and a whopping 4,096 different pressure sensitivities. But next year’s could be even more spectacular.
According to a Samsung patent spotted by Patently Mobile, the South Korean company has been developing a new S Pen that features a built-in speaker. It works when the S Pen is docked inside the Galaxy Note.
The advantage of this is it could free up space inside the phone itself, making room for other components.
This could allow Samsung to bring new technologies to the Note lineup. Apple recently made a similar move, removing the iPhone’s headphone jack to make room for things like a secondary camera in the iPhone 7 Plus, and a larger Taptic Engine.
But of course, there are disadvantages, too. It’s unclear where sound would come from when the S Pen is removed from the Note, or how users would manage should it get lost. These are hurdles Samsung would have to overcome before making this move.
Another option is to provide a speaker inside the S Pen alongside the one inside the phone itself. This could provide stereo sound while the S Pen is docked, then additional sound effects when the S Pen is in use — kind of like the speaker on a PlayStation 4 or Wii U controller.[via Patently Mobile]