Enter the Windows Surface Dial, the new peripheral that's got people excited about 2D user interfaces again.
I remember using similar devices in the human-computer interaction research labs at uni a few years back and thinking "this has potential". Now it's here, and not as a kickstarter, but as a device backed by a major brand in Microsoft: launching it in conjuction with its equally impressive Surface Studio all-in-one PC.
Could it replace the mouse? Probably not completely - the mouse is such a natural pairing with the physical keyboard that I don't see it disappearing as long as the keyboard stays relevant. But it certainly looks like it would change the way I work in certain situations; it gives an added depth in control that makes working with a multi-touch screen/stylus interface more viable in a greater number of applications.
And as an interface designer, it makes me excited about the new challenges and the potential to push 2D interfaces further, especially now when it's all too easy to think "there's no innovation left in 2D interfaces, let's move on to 3D"
Easily the surprise hit of today’s big Windows 10 event in New York City today, the Surface Dial is the new input device that none of us knew we needed. The $100 peripheral is, as “a completely new way to interact with technology and create in the most natural, immersive way,” according to the company’s press material.