Next gen Galaxy Note phones could use the S Pen as a speaker

A new patent shows a design that'd have audio emitted by the S Pen or its enclosure, removing the need for a speaker grille.

Rahil Bhagat
Based in Singapore, Rahil Bhagat is a freelance tech journalist with a passion for consumer tech and startups. He is also an avid gamer and does not believe that celery exists. He tweets into the ether via @rahilmb
Rahil Bhagat
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 S Pen
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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 S Pen
Josh Miller/CNET

One of the Samsung Galaxy Note's most recognisable features, besides exploding, is its S Pen accessory. The S Pen may look like an ordinary stylus, but the software on the Galaxy Note has made it into a versatile tool that boasts, on the Note 7, 4,096 different pressure sensitivities.

It looks like Samsung is adding yet more functionality to the S Pen, with new patents reported by Patently Mobile indicating future models of the accessory will have an integrated speaker to carry sound.

The patent shows that phone audio will be emitted from the tip of the S Pen when the stylus is docked. When the S Pen is removed, audio will come from the S Pen enclosure, eschewing the need for speaker grilles.

Such a design could bolster the S Pen's functionality, and removing speaker grilles would free up space within the phone itself -- a big reason behind Apple's controversial headphone jack removal on the iPhone 7.

Samsung was contacted for comment but did not immediately respond.

The current iteration of Galaxy Note, the Note 7, is recovering from a battery problem that caused some units to catch fire. Samsung is recalling Note 7 phones the world over, last week sending 500,000 models to the United States for Note 7 owners to replace their current units with.