Thursday, April 27, 2017

Microsoft Surface Dial

          Microsoft  Surface Dial by Microsoft

This week Dr Neil Roodyn is in Beijing and Tokyo for the Microsoft Partner hack for Surface Dial.

The Surface Dial, is not to be confused with Pocket Dial, like with your phone. 

Surface Dial, which looks like a round grey block of Camembert, is a standalone device that works with Surface Studio, Surface Book and Surface 4. As it’s using Bluetooth, it should work with any device supporting it.

Surface Dial is simply charged by two AAA batteries, which under normal workday use, should last you for a year. Surface Dial really zings with the Surface Studio, as you can simply position it on the screen to access its functionality. On other devices, like Surface Book and Surface 4, it needs to be placed next to the device for off-screen functionality.The main smarts behind Surface Dial is to give users another device for their "other hand" to trigger added functionality, without using your mouse or touch screen access.

Some of its features include:

1.Press and hold for menu
2. Rotate freely/continuously
3. Click activates a switch
4. Dynamic tactile feedback in custom increments
5. Zoom in or out, change colours
6. On-screen detection (only for Surface Studio).

There is a growing list of apps that support the Surface Dial like Windows Maps, Spotify, OneNote, or Groove Music, as well as graphics programs. Not all apps listed are Store applications either. So check the list online. However support differs from app to app, so do your homework before you start.

For Now
It appears that the Surface Dial has been developed specifically for designers and photographers, so it won’t help you with writing content. The Dial loses some functionality when off-screen, which I’m sure they will work on. It will also take a bit of time getting used to, especially when placed on the screen and not next to it.

But isn’t that the same with all new innovations?

You can check out all the videos of Dr Neil explaining how to use the Surface Dial on Microsoft Channel 9 here

Here are some of Dr Neil's photos from this weeks Microsoft events