Microsoft has finally released its app which will let you take and share timelapse videos with your smartphone.

Although Microsoft was first to announce it would be launching a timelapse app, Instagram beat the company to it with an August release of a mobile app for iOS, Hyperlapse,

Timelapse works by taking a long piece of video and splitting compressing it into bite-sized versions that people can view quickly. In traditional timelapse photography, rather than recording 25 still frames per second to create a video, you might take one still every 25 seconds or more depending on what effect you’re trying to create. Replaying those shots at 25-30 frames per second creates the sensation of an accelerated video.

Those films of flowers opening and closing quickly, clouds whizzing across the sky or cars racing around cities that documentary makers love? That’s timelapse.

Like Instagram, Microsoft is calling its app “Hyperlapse” rather than timelapse, since it works with a raw video base rather than photos, but the principle is the same.

“The idea for Microsoft Hyperlapse began in the mountains,” Microsoft said. “Johannes Kopf is an avid mountain climber, so when first-person action cameras such as GoPros hit the market, he naturally wanted to document his dramatic ascents.”

“But while the climbs themselves may have been exhilarating, the same couldn’t necessarily be said of the hours of footage he collected documenting each step.”

In 2013, Kopf and Microsoft got to work on Hyperlapse. “Unlike traditional timelapses, which are most often created using a static camera, video recorded with a first-person camera tends to be very shaky and uneven. That’s because the person shooting the video is usually walking, running, biking or otherwise in motion,” Kopf said.

To solve this problem and make sure videos come out looking smooth the team developed that starts off with creating an approximate 3D version of the filmed landscape and then locates the dominant path that the camera took through the landscape and then puts together small different frames for a stable timelapse.

Soon after Neel Joshi from Microsoft Research’s Graphics group started working on a mobile version that would be slightly different from the desktop app.

“Rather than stitching together various pieces of frames, he created technology that looks for entire frames that have the most overlap with each other. Instead of just arbitrarily choosing every 10th frame, for example, the system might pick out the first, 12th, 18th and 29thframe,” explained Microsoft.

Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile is available for Windows Phone and in preview for the following Android mobiles:

  • Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S6 Edge and Note 4
  • Nexus 5, 6 and 9
  • HTC One M8 and M9
  • Sony Xperia Z3

Download Microsoft Hyperlapse apps from Microsoft Research.

Catch a glimpse of the app in action in the video action.

[Source – Microsoft, image – YouTube]