Jul 14 AT 12:40 PM Dima Aryeh 9 Comments

Samsung files for patent on ultrasound S Pen, might be for Galaxy Note 4

Samsung ultrasound S Pen 1

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.

Samsung ultrasound S Pen 2

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!

Via: SamMobile

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • James Roots

    It could make the note cheaper to manufacture, not necessarily cheaper to sell.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      It’s true, such a small difference in price won’t reduce consumer price. But it might make eventual screen replacement cheaper I guess.

      • Robairto

        I agree, we will not get a break in price they will just take more profit. That is the way of big business.

  • Bart

    Very interesting. I wonder what happens when the user’s hand blocks one of the sensors or if that even matters seeing as it is sound (ultrasound). Also, can the user feel the vibration?

    Pretty soon, there will be so many sensors on the devices, that it will sense pressure when we pick it up. Too rough and we’ll get audio feedback, “OUCH! That’s too rough, be nice!” Too soft and we’ll get, “Ohhh, that feels soooooo good.!”

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      There will be an app for that, and I’m not sure I like that kind of future O_o

  • karen

    I personally love note series band yes the pen module needs a lot of potential usage too! Should the screen of note 4 be slightly thinner and if samsung reduces stucking issues on the device Um sure it will hit off more in the market. Perhaps Samsung should also have inbuilt batteries now to curb stuck issues

  • Guido

    Probably is this patent too late to be used for the Galaxy Note 4. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if Samsung is using this for the Note 5. Samsung is a company who does not only look to its next product, but it also looks a few years ahead. In a few years (or maybe even next year) this patent can be really interesing. Especially because I think that smartphone will concur in the future more with their design and thickness.

  • TC

    This article failed to mention one of the more impressive features the new stylus would allow you to write on a paper notepad with a pen tip next to the phone and the phone could still capture all that is written and even turn it to text this would be huge for the Note series.

  • Sanchez