This Weird-Looking Tool Is Going To Boost Your Creativity At Work

Photo: Courtesy Microsoft.
At an event in NYC today, Microsoft unveiled a handful of new apps, products, and updates. For some, the biggest news is its super thin, all-in-one desktop computer, the Surface Studio. With a 28-inch display and 2 TB of storage, this $2,999 machine could win over busy, creative professionals. And remember MS Paint? Now there's the 2016 version, Paint 3-D. But the thing we're most excited about is actually kind of small — and maybe even weird looking. Dubbed the Surface Dial ($100), this circular silver tool could take your creativity to the next level. In the past, you could use a stylus as a digital pen or paintbrush on a touchscreen, and Adobe even developed a straightedge you could use on tablets. For accessing various tools and color palettes, though, you've almost always had to tap on menus in-app. But now, there's the Dial. It's basically a multitasking, 21st century artist's palette. Hold it down on your computer and you can change colors, rotate the screen, and quickly select drawing tools. If you're not digitally drawing, you can also use it for other tasks, such as to scale and edit documents, and change the volume on music you're playing with Spotify. It has haptic feedback built-in, which means that you'll feel vibrations on your screen as you work or play games. You can see the Surface Dial in action shortly after the one-minute mark in the video below.

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