Surface Dial could be turned up a notch by adding a touch sensor

Microsoft could be planning some useful changes for its Surface peripherals, namely the Surface Dial and Surface Pen, at least according to a couple of patents which have just emerged.

The most interesting update is to the Surface Dial which, according to the patent that was published by the USPTO on January 10, could benefit from the addition of an electronic touch sensor to the top of the Dial.

This may come in the form of a capacitive, resistive or optical touchscreen, and the idea could also be to support multi-touch gestures. The latter would enable users to benefit from convenient gestures such as two-finger pinching for zooming in (and out), which would be pretty nifty.

As ever, there’s no guarantee the technology described in this patent will reach the Surface Dial, or a further iteration of the peripheral, though we can but hope.

Surface Pen

Mightier Pen

As for the Surface Pen patent, that describes a fairly simple innovation which would mean the stylus would benefit from shock absorbing battery contacts. These would help give the Surface Pen an improved overall level of durability, and better protect the more fragile components inside of the peripheral.

It’s a small enhancement, in other words, and not something we’re going to get too excited about – but still, if it ever happens, it will be a useful boon for Microsoft’s stylus.

In the future, the Surface Pen could also benefit from haptic feedback technology, if another patent that came to light last year is anything to go by.

Via Windows Latest

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).