Instagram launches Hyperlapse, a smart time-lapse video app

Instagram Hyperlapse (iPhone screenshot 001)

If you’re looking for a clever use of the iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, look no further than Hyperlapse, a new iOS app by Facebook-owned Instagram which lets you create panning and time-lapse shots, steadycam-style.

The time-lapse feature is similar to one Apple will bring to iOS devices with the release of iOS 8 in Fall.

As for the tracking shots, the software uses advanced algorithms and your iPhone’s hardware to smooth out panning shots as if you recorded video with a Steadicam or a professional $15,000 tracking rig.

And in what prove to be a killer feature for folks who loathe Instagram, Hyperlapse can be enjoyed without an Instagram or Facebook account as no signup is required to use the app.

Hyperlapse is available free in the App Store.

As Wired reports, the video features of Hyperlapse are somewhat reminiscent of hyperlapse stabilization demoed by Microsoft Research earlier this month.

Surprisingly, Hyperlapse is a standalone iPhone and iPad application separate from Instagram’s mobile client, which already includes a bunch of photo and video filters.

According to the article, Hyperlapse sole purpose is to smooth shaky video and create time-lapse effects. The app only offers stabilization and speed related filters.

As seen on the screenshot top of post, to create a time-lapse video you can speed up your footage by a factor of 1-12. Sharing features include standard Facebook and Instagram choices.

Check out Instagram’s blurb:

Create amazing time lapse videos with Hyperlapse. Using Instagram’s in-house stabilization, Hyperlapse shoots polished time lapse videos that were previously impossible without bulky tripods and expensive equipment.

When you shoot a time lapse video with Hyperlapse, your footage will be instantly stabilized to smooth out the bumps from the road and give it a cinematic feeling.

Capture an entire sunrise in 10 seconds — even from the back of a moving motorcycle. Walk through the crowds at an all-day music festival, then distill it into a 30 second spot. Capture your bumpy trail run and share your 5k in 5 seconds.

Here’a video demo of Hyperlapse.

Instead of resource-intensive techniques for analyzing footage frame by frame to determine how to account for the shakiness, the app cleverly taps motion data gathered from the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors in order to precisely determine the amount of stabilization, without taxing your iPhone’s processor and battery too much.

It’s quite similar to the gyroscopes attached to professional studio cameras that help de-blur the images. The device basically funnels gyroscope and accelerometer measurements through a simpler algorithm that could “map one frame to the next, giving the illusion that the camera was being held steady,” as a team member told Wired.

Hyperlapse features include:

  • Shoot handheld time lapse videos in motion— while you’re walking, running, jumping or falling.
  • Smooth out your video for cinematic quality with automatic stabilization.
  • Speed up your hyperlapse to be up to 12 times the speed.
  • Share your videos seamlessly on Instagram and Facebook or save them to your camera roll to share anywhere, anytime.
  • Start filming immediately with a simple design that gets out of the way of your creativity
  • Download and start capturing. No sign up or account required.

For more information, check out the Instagram blog and the help document.

Check out additional Hyperlapse video examples below.

Hyperlapse is Instagram’s second iOS app after soft-launching its Snapchat competitor dubbed Bolt in select markets.

Download Hyperlapse free in the App Store.

The universal 10.9-megabyte download requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad compatible with iOS 7.0 or later.

[App Store via Wired]