The fact that they filed a patent for the gestures a two whole years ago tells that they have been thinking about this type of feature for a while. Even though some implemented this feature, the illustrations submitted in the patent documents show a completely different implementation than we’ve seen on any smartphone today.
The illustrations show that by swiping up on the fingerprint scanner will launch the web browser. Swiping to the left launches a saved contact and swipe to the right brings up your messaging application. These gestures might be customizable within the new TouchWiz OEM skin, but we will have to wait to be sure.
However, companies own lots of patents for things that are never used in their own products. So this might be something that Samsung wants to keep in their trove of patents.