Samsung future phone to come with built-in breathalyzer
Samsung Electronics has invented an S Pen stylus with an embedded breathalyzer and a microphone, raising expectations that the new technology will be used for its new Galaxy smartphone that will come next year.
The S Pen is an accessory that accompanies Samsung’s Note phone series.
“Samsung filed a patent application for the S Pen that can measure the user’s blood alcohol content in June 2016. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved it last month,” a Samsung official said.
According to the patent, when the S Pen is used as a breathalyzer or a microphone, a small part of it bends to almost 90 degrees, enabling a couple of sensors inside the tool to measure the alcohol level in the blood, while talking on the phone.
The upgraded S Pen is expected to reduce the number of car accidents if Galaxy smartphones actually are used for this function.
The patent is already inviting foreign media outlets’ speculation that the Note 9 may be the first smartphone with a built-in breathalyzer.
Samsung plans to unveil the Note 8 on Aug. 23. Observers said that it is logical to assume that the new technology will be on the next Note, expected to be released in the second half of next year.
Previously, Samsung said the Galaxy Note 8 will come with an upgraded S Pen, which is expected to feature enhancements as to multimedia functions but not with a built-in breathalyzer this time.
However, Samsung said it remains to be seen if the patent will actually be used on Galaxy Note phones in the future.
“A patent application does not always mean it will be used in products right away,” the Samsung official said.
An official of the smartphone industry also said the S Pen embedded with a breathalyzer may be used for smartphones designed for special tasks rather than being sold to general consumers.
Samsung has introduced a series of innovative features to its smartphones to compete with its archrival Apple, which first came up with the iPhone 10 years ago.