Microsoft today unveiled their new flagship Surface Studio All-In-One PC, that has some features targeted towards artists and digital content creators. And to go alongside the desktop, Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Dial, a digital “puck” that has some useful features that those creators could appreciate.
For a lack of better term, the Dial is essentially a digitalized version of a Hockey Puck that when it is placed on the Surface Studios screen, a radial menu pops up that gives users different options based on what app they are in. SoMicrosoft’s dial is the perfect accessory for the Surface Studio, for example, if someone is in the paint app, the Dial will open a menu for choosing a different color or brush option. Assuming that Microsoft opens up the functionality, other apps could make use of the Dial to open up different menus or settings, just like with the paint app. Interesting to note, the Dial can also be used to pan and navigate around an image.
To control what is displaying on the screen, or what tool/color you have, all you would have to do is rotate the Dial. Interestingly, it also uses Haptic Feedback to register clicks and make other inputs/outputs when the user is using it.
Alongside being able to control menus and change between tools and/or colors, the Dial also has some simpler uses. Some of those use cases could be controlling the volume that the music is playing at, or possibly even skipping songs. It is important to note that the Surface Dial doesn’t have to be placed on the Surface Studio’s screen, it can also function just fine off to the side, or where your mouse would normally go.
Although the Dial was demonstrated on the Surface Studio, it can also work with the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. It will be available for purchase starting November 10th for $99. And as a little bonus, it will be included with preorders of the Surface Studio as well.