Samsung has recently been granted a camera-related patent, but not for technology used in the camera of a smartphone. Instead the patent, which was originally filed back in February of 2017, is for an S-Pen stylus with a built-in zoom camera.

The document is titled 'Electronic pen device having optical zoom' and describes an S-Pen that comes with an optical system embedded towards the upper end. Four lens elements are aligned in front of an image sensor. The optical system is connected to a communications module which transmits the captured image data back to the host device. There is also a control key which could adjust the zoom factor or trigger other functions.

Image: Patently Mobile

In the technical drawing above you can see the the four main components of the system: optical system, image sensor, control key, and controller. The image also suggests the camera S-Pen could come with a future Galaxy Note smartphone but the patent text says the pen could also be used with laptops and computer displays.

As usual there is no way of knowing if or when the technology will make it into a production device but the capability to take zoom pictures with your S-Pen while leaving the device in your pocket seems like an interesting idea.