How about a "Surface Dial"-like Wireless Mouse?


So this should be able to do all things that the Surface Dial does and at the same time, act as a mouse as well. A sort of mixture of the Microsoft Arc Mouse and the Dial. @Team


You’d have to draw us a concept because I have no idea how to visualize this. :grin:


Not sure that will work. You have to many requirements in conflict. The dial is optimized so that it doesn’t glide on the table or screen. This allows for the rotation. A mouse is exactly the opposite, it needs to glide easily. The click/press actions are another conflict.

However I could imagine to define some multitouch gestures for the click/press and rotate actions from the dial. Then a touch pad or mouse with support for the gestures would allow to control the circle menus that way.


For that, the dial can be in two pieces: the base, which glides on the table, and the dial itself, which can come off the base to attach to the screen. The attachment can be made through magnets, because I believe that’s how it attaches to the screen as well. That way when apps requiring rotation are being used, the user can detach the dial from the base, while when they aren’t, it can be re-attached and used as a mouse. As for clicking, it could be the same functionality as the arc mouse.


The Surface Dial uses a microstructure (anti/non slip pad) to increase resistance between the device and the table/screen. The bottom cover of the Dial is using really strong magnets to keep the it together (You need both hands to pry it apart), but this does have no influence on the connection between the Dial and a table or screen. Tables/screens are usually not magnetic. :slight_smile:

Mice have pads at the bottom that reduce the resistance between them and the table. Some (MS models) use weaker magnets to keep the battery cover closed.

Additionally a mouse is a device for the main hand, the Dial is for the off hand. The dial provides access to several actions that are not as easily accessible with just a pen.

imho The question should be “How can we make the circle menus available using a mouse?”, not trying to merge two specific and really different input devices.

Touch gestures (Logitech T620, Touch pads, …)

These devices use a single finger to move the cursor, two fingers for scrolling actions. It should be possible to replace the two finger gestures (scrolling is one of the actions in the menu) or use three finger gestures for it.

Scroll wheel

Use the scroll wheel click/press actions and the scroll wheel rotation. A clickable scroll wheel on a mouse can provide exactly the same actions as the Surface Dial on the desk.