Surface Dial is the surprise star of recently unveiled Microsoft device – Surface Studio. The peripheral that is shipped with the device (Studio) or can be purchased as a stand-alone product which belongs to Windows Wheel devices. It is a new category of input device that enables unique user interaction experiences for Windows and Windows apps.
Microsoft Surface Dial on Surface Studio
When pushed on the Surface Studio, Surface Dial complements input with a form factor based on a rotate action. This enables a special “on-screen” menu by detecting both the contact location. The system then uses this info to handle occlusion by the device and display a larger version of the menu that wraps around the outside of the Dial.
The Surface Dial supports both a ‘press and hold’ action and a click action. When you press and hold the dial, a menu of commands becomes visible to you on the Surface Studio screen. Through these commands, a user can process rotate and click input. Some of the standard built-in tools you can find on the Dial’s menu are:
- System volume
- Zoom in/out
The collection of built-in tools readily adapts to the changes in an instant. In addition, to this support for general applications and gestures, the Surface Dial comes deeply integrated with the Windows Ink platform controls (InkCanvas and InkToolbar).
When enabled, these controls offer additional functionality for modifying ink attributes and controlling the ink toolbar’s ruler stencil. For instance, when you open the Surface Dial Menu in an inking application that uses the ink toolbar, the menu lists all the tools that are at its disposal for controlling pen type and brush thickness. When the ruler is enabled, a corresponding tool is added to the menu that lets the device control the position and angle of the ruler.
The Dial allows you to select Pens by choosing a definite size. When done, it opens the selected pen’s palette and size settings. By accessing its settings panel, you can enable the dial to either manipulate the size slider or cycle through colors.
Similar settings or changes can be configured for brush settings that are added to the Dial controls. By default, the brush control dials diameter up and down. But by accessing the Sketchable preferences (right), you can choose to “speed dial”.
Moreover, 11 additional brush attributes can be set. These include:
- Stroke opacity
- Tip opacity
- Tip rotation
- Tip roundness
A good feature about Microsoft Surface Dial is that navigation controls can be just easily performed with two finger gestures. Its experience is reminiscent of a tuner knob on a radio or stereo console. So, you might find its application for your favorite music app – Groove Music.
You can read more about this on Microsoft.com.