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Microsoft could debut transparent Surface Dial sequel at October event

Microsoft’s range of Surface 2-in-1s may not be the only hardware the company shows off at its October 2 Surface event. A new Federal Communications Commission filing suggests we could get our first glimpse of a new Surface Dial sequel as well. Although potential features and specifications are pure speculation at the moment, earlier patents filed by Microsoft suggest that it could debut with a transparent center to give a view through to the screen underneath it.

The Surface Dial is one of the more intriguing products Microsoft has released in recent years. The rotational puck provides additional input options for Surface Studio users. By placing it on to the screen in the right context, users could twist the puck to make choices on radial menus. It also worked in tandem with the Surface pen to provide even more intuitive input options.

With a new Surface Studio 2 expected to debut at the October Surface event (here is what we want it to have), a new Surface Dial could accompany it. MSPowerUser highlights a particular FCC filing for a new Bluetooth accessory that Microsoft filed just a few days ago. Although the document doesn’t give away any detail about what the device is, the fact that it’s circular and would feature labeling on the side, suggests it is a dial-like device at least.

Drawing on patent information highlighted earlier in the year, MSPowerUser suggests that the second-generation Dial could be transparent in its center, thereby making it possible to view the Surface Studio screen through it. That not only makes its placement on the potential Surface Studio 2 that much easier to manage — as you can see anything you put it on — but it opens up new potential functions such as magnification or layer manipulation.

Microsoft has also filed patents for a Surface Inkwell design, which would make it possible to charge and store multiple Surface Pens in a central hub location. In theory, a Surface Dial 2-like device could draw features from that, too, though that seems unlikely.

The Surface event is set to take place on October 2, where we also expect to see details of a new Surface Pro 6.

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