It looks like S Pen on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is getting a big update: Bluetooth.
A filing with the FCC suggests the Note 9’s S-Pen will connect to the phone via Bluetooth LE. Previous devices used inductive styluses that didn’t require an internal battery, basically using a form of wireless power. But considering the S-Pen worked even when hovering above the screen, why would it need Bluetooth?
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There are a few possible reasons, but it seems likely the S Pen will become more than just a stylus with the Note 9. Bluetooth would allow the pen to work at distance, enabling you to do things like control music, start and stop timers, etc.
Personally, I’m hoping it can be used to remotely activate the camera shutter, which would open up a whole new host of photo and video opportunities if you have a tripod. The S Pen could essentially become an all-in-one remote, and though that would require some sort of a battery, it shouldn’t be much of an issue with the pen spending most of its life inside your phone.
That makes me wonder whether the S-Pen will come with some sort of a clip this time, as you won’t want to lose it by keeping it outside of your phone more often. On the other hand, if there’s a sound mechanism in the new S-Pen, Bluetooth could help you locate it when it gets lost.
Other than some stylus-specific spec bumps, the S-Pen has remained relatively unchanged since the original Galaxy Note. It’s always been a thin, pressure-sensitive stylus with a single button on it. Considering Note devices are some of very few phones – let alone popular ones – with a stylus, it’s about time Samsung gave the S-Pen some new chops to show it’s hear to stay.
Of course, how practical Bluetooth is remains to be seen, but we’ll find out a lot more come August 9.
Via Droid Life