Instagram's New App is "Hyperlapse" and It Makes Smartphone Videos Way Better

Hyperlapse is growing in popularity, despite the difficulty of creating a seamless finished product... until now. Instagram is releasing a new app later today that, if it works as well as it appears in the promotional videos, will make hyperlapsing not only easy, but puts the power to make compelling hyperlapse videos in the palms of anyone's hands. Their new app is appropriately named "Hyperlapse" and it looks spectacular. 

Hyperlapse is Instagram's first foray into an app that is beyond the original, and highly popular, parent app. Though owned by Facebook, Instagram seems to be operating on its own and Hyperlapse is an extention of what the team has envisioned for the company. In an in-depth story by Wired, we are treated to a short story of how the app came to be.

By day, Thomas Dimson quietly works on Instagram’s data, trying to understand how people connect and spread content using the service. Like a lot of people working at the company, he’s also a photo and movie geek—and one of his longest-held affections has been for Baraka, an art-house ode to humanity that features epic tracking shots of peoples all across the world...

By 2013, Dimson was at Instagram. That put him back in touch with Alex Karpenko, a friend from Stanford who had sold his start-up to Instgram in 2013. Karpenko and his firm, Luma, had created the first-ever image-stabilization technology for smartphone videos. That was obviously useful to Instagram, and the company quickly deployed it to improve video capture within the app. But Dimson realized that it had far greater creative potential. Karpenko’s technology could be used to shoot videos akin to all those shots in Baraka. “It would have hurt me not to work on this,” says Dimson.

The app claims it will be able to achieve powerful hyperlapse videos directly on a smartphone at absolutely no cost. That's right, it's going to be free. 

Inspired by a demo in which he saw gyroscopes attached to cameras to de-blur their images, Karpenko had an aha moment: Smartphones didn’t have nearly enough power to replicate video-editing software, but they did have built-in gyroscopes. On a smartphone, instead of using power-hungry algorithms to model the camera’s movement, he could measure it directly. And he could funnel those measurements through a simpler algorithm that could map one frame to the next, giving the illusion that the camera was being held steady. He mocked up a simple demo, and filmed a dot on his wall, while making his hand shake. “The images in the test matched up almost exactly, and that’s when I knew this was doable,” Karpenko says.

Get more information on the upcoming app at Wired. Well, are you excited, or will you reserve judgement until you've tried the app for yourself? 

[Via Wired]

Jerrit Pruyn's picture

Jerrit Pruyn is a professional wedding photographer based in NYC. His work and articles have been featured on Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Huffington Post, and Daily Mail.

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i need this

One person already took my train idea! i want this as well. Looks like it could be fun.

That's awesome! May have to use this for my Vegas trip coming up

Pretty crazy what a phone can do these days. . . Now I'll be able to see how trendy and hip my friends are via hyperlapse. Can't wait. . .

This. This. SO much awesome.

This is a timelapse just for people. easily create long term videos of your children's growth or yourself.

Just downloaded it! Wow! I'm quite impressed at how easy it is and how well it works. Bravo, Instagram!

Wow, this works REALLY well. I'm astonished honestly.

This seems to be more of a motion stabilizer to me than a hyperlapse. When I think hyperlapse, I think of something where predictable motion is incorporated into a timelaspe. Don't get me wrong though, I'm excited to see this app in practice.

Pretty amazing how smooth it makes my flying videos. Addicted. Vine needs to add this now.

Tested it today, they really beat Microsoft to the punch on this one.

Tried it, loving it

Looks great. Now that the devs are finished with this, maybe they can get started on an instagram app for the ipad.