Microsoft Announces New Product: Vernier

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Microsoft announced a new product today, vernier, to replace its old vernier-sensor-gadget, the vernier-sensor-sensor. A vernier-sensor-sensor, or sensor, is a tiny sensor that sits between the camera and the lens, and listens for what people’re saying with the microphone, and then sends out the audio to your display, or to another phone or device.

“Since the vernier has a very large sensor in front of it, it’s an important part of the lens design,” vernier developer Peter Rivet said over email. “It provides strong picture quality, because it’s very fast to turn on and off. The vernier-sensor-sensor can handle very large cameras, whereas most camera sensors have a limited ability to handle this size camera, so the size of the vernier sensor does a much better job of compensating for the loss of image quality.”

The new sensor is made using a unique design, with a single, large sensor (the vernier-gadget is basically a smaller version of that). The sensor is not built into the lens, but is instead installed in the rear of the vernier, instead of being built into the camera. So it’s the same size as the vernier sensor, but is not attached to the lens at all.

A big problem with this approach, though, is that it’s quite a significant weight. Though the sensor itself is relatively light, the lens and its internal construction can add several thousands of grams to a system. That’s a huge increase in weight, and it means that if your camera is on a tripod, the weight will be sitting in the camera’s lens barrel, not in the camera itself. And the vernier sensor was never designed to be mounted to the camera itself.

“We are using the vernier sensor with the vernier mechanism, to reduce the weight of the camera and reduce the weight on the vernier,” David Kopp, vernier developer, said over email. “It is a big sensor, but does not need a long lens with a long lens to capture the picture.”

The vernier sensor is now shipping from a large manufacturing facility in France, with production taking place in Hong Kong. The device is available now from Amazon, eBay, and various online retailers, though it does not yet seem to be on any carrier devices in the American market.

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