A future Galaxy Note could have an extra camera inside the S-Pen stylus.

Last year's Note 9 S-Pen introduced a button that enabled you to take photos and move through items on the screen, but the 2019 Note could take things a leap further with a camera featuring an optical zoom.

That's according to a new patent that has been spotted after a submission to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

We think the "optical zoom" aspect may be a bit of a step too far to be inside a stylus that's so diminutive, but the patents shown by Patently Mobile are pretty clear.

Patently MobileLooks like the Note 10s S-Pen will have a camera in it image 2

The optical system and image sensor are sited in the top part of the pen and the actual camera is on the very end of the pen, the opposite end to the pen part. There are some further related electronics below the S-Pen button. 

According to Patently Mobile, Samsung's submissions to the USPTO also include alternative camera setups, though there's no evidence of this in the report. 

The Galaxy Note normally makes an appearance in the summer, so we'll see if this technology is destined for this year's Galaxy Note 10 device or a future version of the S Pen that we might get in 2020 instead. It seems the patent has now been granted but was originally applied for back in 2017.

We're going to see the advent of at least three Galaxy S10 family phones at Samsung's Unpacked event on 20 February.