The Galaxy Note has, since its inception, sported an ‘S Pen’ stylus for interacting with its larger, phablet-sized screen. But a new patent published by Samsung in South Korea suggests that this little accessory may be moving away from using a digitizer and toward being ultrasound-powered (via SamMobile).
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Moving away from a display-embedded digitizer would in theory mean the possibility of a thinner screen — and thereby a thinner phone. Because of less actual hardware and the likely support for the feature via the Snapdragon 805 SoC, switching to an ultrasound stylus would also likely shed some costs.
This technology isn’t exactly a new concept, as we saw it earlier this year in a device made by Qualcomm. As you can see in the below video, the Ultra Sound NotePad does some neat things like allowing the device to pick up a stylus’ movement without it even touching the screen.
The rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is expected to ship in a variant with the very same Snapdragon 805 seen in Qualcomm’s tablet, meaning that the chances are decent that the company’s next phablet might just see an ultrasound-powered S Pen.