In short, Hyperlapse uses the smartphone’s gyroscope to capture movement during filming, then intelligently levels out captured footage based on that data.
For its time-lapse feature, the app features controls between 1x and 12x to adjust the effect on the video. These granular controls are more advanced than what will ship in Apple’s camera app with iOS 8.
Alongside the launch of Instagram’s Hyperlapse, Wired has an interview with the app’s product team:
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.
Instagram’s Hyperlapse is rolling out now for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad users.