All the way back in 2017, when we thought the world was terrible but had no idea how terrible it was going to become, Samsung filed a patent for a smartphone stylus with a camera inside.
That patent has just been granted, meaning that Samsung has the go-ahead to put a tiny tiny camera in the S-Pen stylus on its next phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, if it so wishes.
Why would you want a camera in a stylus, you ask?
Well, it could be a novel solution to the notch problem -- a way to avoid punching holes in the face or creating a slider mechanism to hide the selfie camera. Instead, the front-facing camera could be in the stylus, which is inside the phone. Honestly though, that sounds like kind of a faff -- busting out the S-Pen every time you want to practice your pout.
It could be to allow you to write on paper using the S-Pen, while the camera records your doodles and uploads them to the cloud.
It could be a removable security camera, so you could leave the pen watching your living room while you go to work. Bonus: it'd be too small to notice.
It could be (OK, we're dreaming here) a really neat way to do 360-degree videos and photos, although fitting all that tech inside a tiny stylus would be improbable.
In short, we don't know what Samsung's got planned, but we do know the stylus-cam is intended for a Galaxy Note phone specifically. Which one, or whether it'll even happen, remains to be seen.
Give us your best ideas for the pen-periscope in the comments, we are fascinated. [Slashgear]