Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 S Pen might speak to you

Note 7

The S Pen is one of the features that sets Samsung's phablet range apart from most of the competition. It gives you new ways to interact with the phone, allowing you to sketch and write by hand, but future versions could go a step further and add audio skills through a built-in speaker.

A patent, filed in March 2016 and unearthed by Patently Mobile, points to exactly that, with a speaker in the top of the pen allowing sound to be played through it.

When the S Pen (or Galaxy Note Pen as it's called here) is slotted into the handset it could even double up as a speaker for the phone.

S Pen patent

What's the point?

What the patent doesn't really explain is what the point of any of this would be, but possible uses could include having notes you've just taken read back to you, or sound an alert and help you locate the stylus next time you lose it down the sofa.

If the built-in speaker coexisted with the handset's speaker it could also allow for louder audio out of your smartphone.

As a patent there's no guarantee that anything will come of it, and even if we do see a speaker stylus in future it's unlikely to arrive before the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but it makes sense that Samsung would be trying to do more with its stylus, especially now Apple has started making a stylus of its own.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.