Erica Flores

Samsung considers putting a camera on a pencil.

Samsung is considering building an optical zoom camera in an upcoming stylus, according to a patent first discovered by Patently mobile. According to the patent, which was filed in February 2017 and granted yesterday, the stylus could send any image wirelessly to the phone or tablet, making use of the Bluetooth support that was added with the Note 9’s S Pen stylus. .

An S Pen with a built-in camera would offer a number of benefits. For one thing, space limitations on the main body of a phone typically mean that an optical zoom is out of the question. But the Samsung patent specifically mentions that the stylus camera includes an “optical zoom function.” Detaching the camera from the phone would also give you more flexibility with how you take your photos, allowing you to take them from higher or lower vantage points while using the phone screen as a viewfinder.

Image: USPTO via Patently MobileThe patent shows a pencil that contains a camera and has its own control key.

As with all patents like this, there is no guarantee that this feature will make it to a future product. But after Samsung struggled with weak sales in 2018, it will need flashy new features like this to reinvigorate its smartphone business. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.