Geekspeak: April 2, 2001

Look out, IMAX! The Be Here lens lets you be there

Like a streaming-media rendition of a multimillion-dollar imax setup, Be Heres 360° Video lets content providers create amazing videos with a complete 360-degree perspective.

Be Heres chief technology resides in the lens, which optically captures the image data, which Be Here then transfers to an ordinary analog or digital video camera. The result is something that looks like a Gap commercial or a scene from "The Matrix" (the Gap and "The Matrix" use computers to stitch together data from dozens of cameras). The advantage is that once this data is streamed to the Web, users can interact with it to view the video in the perspective of their choice.

Obviously, there are limitations. Because the data is coming onto a single lens, optical compromises must be made. Be Here requires some bulky cable attachments, and the lens itself works only with a few cameras. Still, Be Heres 360° Video will allow merchandisers and other companies to create unique perspectives of their products.

Be Here officials, meanwhile, said that it might shift its focus to the entertainment industry. More information about the lens is at