Where can Samsung go next with the S Pen?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Where can Samsung go next with the S Pen?
The S Pen, the Note line’s signature feature, is now far more than a stylus. It’s basically a gadget of its own. However, some of the latest new features introduced with the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ make us feel like Samsung is starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel of usefulness. I mean, waving the S Pen around to switch camera modes while you’re holding the device in your other hand isn’t exactly groundbreaking.

So, what is there left to do but come up with our own ideas about how Samsung can further improve the S Pen in the future? Granted, some of the ideas are a bit out there, but it’s not necessary that Samsung has to implement all of them at once or anytime soon.

S Pen with a built-in mic

Now, the S Pen is great for taking notes – you pull it out and start writing on the display. What’s easier than that? Well, how about you pull it out and quickly tell it whatever needs remembering? Sure, voice memos exist on phones now, but that would be next -level convenience. And while you’re talking, the phone can also transcribe your words so you have both the audio file and a text version.

A mic would also be useful if you’re trying to record an interview-type video or just if you’re on a conference call via your Note and want people to hear you more clearly. Now, I’m not going to pretend there aren’t some nefarious purposes for which a detachable mic can be used, but that’s up to the individual’s morals.

Obviously, you wouldn’t want your remote mic to just start recording the moment you pull out the S Pen and the button on it already has plenty of features, which is why we have a complimentary idea…

A second functional button

Adding another button on the S Pen might sound like a small change but it will dramatically increase its usefulness. Not only are you getting an additional single, long, and double press to add functions to, but two buttons in combination with the motion-tracking abilities of the S Pen can turn it into a make-shift game controller. If an app doesn’t use the second button for something specific, Samsung can always let you assign it to whatever you want. It’s a power user's phone after all, right?

Samsung has had S Pen APIs available for developers for a while, and yet, it seems most don’t think there’s enough benefit of integrating unique interactions just for Note users. What Samsung could do to make the S Pen’s two buttons useful anywhere is to allow users to map them to a certain spot on the screen so that pressing the button would register as a tap there. Imagine a game in which you mainly have to jump and shoot, you can make it so that the on-screen controls are triggered with your S Pen without any extra effort from the developer. 

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Luckily for Samsung, our next idea doesn’t need any new research and development. Instead, it’s back to basics...

An actual ink pen within the S Pen

This might sound crazy considering the S Pen’s purpose is mainly to write stuff with it on the Galaxy Note instead of using a regular pen on paper, but hear me out. During a businessman’s day-to-day activities, there’s inevitably the need to sign a document or just write something that’s meant for someone else. So wouldn’t it be great if there was a tiny ink reservoir within the S Pen and a ballpoint tip you can reveal and amaze everyone with how useful your phone is? Plus, the marketing possibilities of a product like that are endless.

We had a couple more ideas but they were too crazy even for this list. What do you think? Should the S Pen get more features or is it fine just the way it is and Samsung should focus on adding software implementation for it rather than a hardware redesign? Tell us what you’d like to be able to do with the S Pen of the Galaxy Note 11 or even further in the future if your ideas are particularly visionary. As you can see, we’re open to all sorts of suggestions and hopefully, so is Samsung.

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