A new Samsung patent has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office which shows that the company has been working on an automatically ejectable touch pen system for its Galaxy Note series of smartphones. Although far from confirmation that such a design will be making its way into future products, it’s an interesting look at the type of features that Samsung is thinking about.
Driving right on into the patent, it appears that the ejection system makes use of small electromagnets, both within the stylus and the docking slot, to push the pen up and out of the handset when required.
Two magnets are used inside the handset with the same polarity as the magnet in the pen, to push it away from the handset, rather than having the user manually have to dig it out. The second magnet has the opposite polarity, so the pen with tend to protrude from the end of the handset without flying out and potentially getting lost.
The patent also suggests that the ejection method would be tied into software, as the design has sensors that can detect when the pen is ejected from the phone. This would then display a message to the user to inform them that the stylus was loose.
“Since it is possible to automatically eject the touch pen only with a simple manipulation and/or command, it is easy to manipulate the electronic device with one hand, and since a separate locking device for confining the touch pen isn’t needed, it is possible to enhance the usage convenience of the electronic device.”
Furthermore, Samsung’s patent shows a new locking mechanism to keep the stylus in place when not required. There’s a small motor and arm lock located inside the device which hooks into a groove around the edge of the pen. Again, this suggests that the unlocking mechanism would be software based, perhaps allowing the user to eject the pen with a voice command, swipe action, or button press.
The real question is whether this design is actually more convenient for users, and it’s probably something that existing Galaxy Note users would take some getting used to. This is certainly a feature of convenience rather than necessity, but an auto-eject pen does sounds quite cool.