Microsoft’s quirky Surface Dial puck just got way more useful

Microsoft has confirmed that the Surface Dial will eventually be compatible with other Surface devices.

Last week, Microsoft announced a Bluetooth-powered smart puck called the Surface Dial, which adds additional functionality to the new Surface Studio all-in-one PC. But the company has since revealed that the Dial will also work with the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 – eventually.

Speaking to The Verge, Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Head of Devices and Windows, said that the company is working on a firmware update that will let Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 owners use the Surface Dial on their device’s display. Of course, you’ll still have to fork out $99.99 for the luxury of owning a Dial.

The Surface Dial is an entirely new product from Microsoft, and is intended to offer a new way of controlling your computer. It sits on the display, and can be twisted, giving easy access to shortcuts, controls, drawing tools, and other features. It’ll even work with third-party services; for instance, you’ll be able to use the Dial to adjust volume on Spotify, Groove, and Pandora. It can also be used to scroll on your browser, and edit, rotate, and manipulate objects on editing software. It’s also clickable, which allows the user to bring up a radial menu of tools.

surface dial

“Surface Dial is a completely new way to interact with technology,” explains Microsoft. “We draw, scribble, and sketch to organise our thoughts and communicate with others. With Surface Dial in one hand and Surface Pen in the other, you can unlock your creativity with easy access to shortcuts, controls, drawing tools, and more.”

Microsoft promises that the Surface Dial will last for 12 months on two AAA batteries – based on four hours of daily use. Here’s a list of compatible apps:

  • Bluebeam (Revu)
  • Drawboard (Drawboard PDF)
  • Metal Canvas (Metal Canvas Player)
  • Silicon Benders (Sketchable)
  • Smith Micro (Moto 12)
  • Spotify (Spotify)
  • Staffpad (StaffPad)
  • Windows (All)
  • Word, PPT, Excel (Office Win32)
  • OneNote (UWP version)
  • Windows Maps
  • Plumbago
  • Sketchpad
  • Groove Music
  • PewPew Shooter
  • Microsoft Photos
  • Paint

Unfortunately, there’s no UK pricing or release date information for the Surface Dial just yet.

Related: CES 2017

Watch: Microsoft Event Re-cap

What do you think of the Microsoft Surface Dial? Which features would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments.

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