The S Pen has been an iconic feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that many people love. It uses a special digitizer and active stylus made by Wacom, which Samsung owns part of. But Samsung is looking at ways to make the S Pen both better and potentially cheaper with a newly-filed patent.
This patent describes a stylus working on ultrasound waves. There will be sensors in the corners of the devices to detect the ultrasound waves the stylus produces, calculating its position based on its distance away from the sensors. This would lower the cost of the digitizer and maybe even allow it to be thinner.
This has been seen before, as Qualcomm showed off similar technology on a tablet earlier this year. This tech was shown off as built into the Snapdragon 805, requiring no extra hardware, so Samsung implementing it seems pretty likely. Maybe the Galaxy Note 4 will feature the ultrasound stylus, as it’s been rumored to be powered by the Snapdragon 805.
Though the ultrasound stylus isn’t all that exciting and won’t change much for the consumer, it might make the next Galaxy Note cheaper, and that’s alright by me. On the other hand, Samsung invested so much money into Wacom, it’s hard to imagine the company dumping its technology. Do you think we’ll see ultrasound-based S Pen styli soon? Leave a comment!