Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app is amazing.
Basically, it stabilizes video as it shoots it (or soon thereafter) and allows you to play back at various speeds. It’s timelapse photography in super-smooth mode, or a replacement for a very expensive video stabilization rig.
The secret, according to a Wired profile, is that the app doesn’t try to stabilize with anything like the fancy (and very processor-intensive) software found in high-end video production software. Rather, it uses data from the iPhone’s built-in gyroscopes to simply adjust for movement.
My initial reaction to the app was (a) wonderment, and (b) hopefulness that the app would let me import media (like, um, from my GoPro?).
After reading the Wired article, it’s clear that the Hyperlapse app won’t work with imported material, since the whole point is that it records the gyroscopic data as it’s recording (and adjusts the video accordingly).
But what if…
For this to work, you need to be able to precisely (!) sync the gyroscope’s data with the video. For that reason, I’m wondering if the app might record audio, which the post-processing desktop app could use to sync the recorded data’s time with the footage. As you begin recording, it could even emit a beep or clapper sound or something similar that would be picked up by the video camera’s mic. (The desktop app could know to look for that precise sound.)
Or… we could sync even easier. Both my GoPro and my Canon 6D can be controlled by corresponding iPhone apps. What if the gyroscope data collection was simply built into those apps. Then, you could trigger recording on the camera direct from the phone and simultaneously begin recording the data needed for stabilization.
I have no idea what kind of patent that Instagram (err… Facebook) has on this tech. My point is that this one amazing innovation has the potential to be a big-time game changer, since all the other pieces already exist (or, in the case of the desktop app, should be doable by applying existing tech). With something like I described above, you could replace an expensive stabilization rig with an iPhone, a mounting bracket, and some simple (ish) software.