Webcam is a short for “Web Camera” i.e. combination of “Web” and “video camera”. It is a small digital camera that is connected to the computer and can be used for sending videos or images through internet. They are specifically used for transmitting live videos or still images.

Webcams are typically tiny cameras that are either attached to the monitor or placed on a desk. Most of the cameras will be connected to the system through USB or Firewire connection. Typically these webcams come with software that enable the user to record video or stream the video on web.

Usually, these Webcams come with an integral microphone that could even be used for recording sound. These cameras even have the ability to pan and tilt to any degree to adjust the recordings. With their in-built sensors, webcams can detect movement or sound and start the recording at any moment. These features of the Webcam have led to their extensive usage.

Applications of Webcam

  • Webcams are used to stream the video on the Web. If the user has a website that supports streaming video, then even other users can watch the video stream from their Web browsers.
  • Webcams can also be used for video chat sessions with other people. With this, instead of sending the video on the Web, users can set up a video chat session and have a discussion with live audio and video. For example, Apple's iSight camera, which is built into Apple laptops and iMacs, allows users to video chat using the iChat instant messaging program.
  • They can also be used for security purposes. It is installed with software that records every movement and sound when they are detected. This will help to find the guilty when theft or any such situations happen.
  • These cameras are also helpful in videoconferencing that allows one-to-one live video communication over the Internet across the world

Limitation of Webcam

Streaming a video over the Internet requires a lot of bandwidth; hence, the video stream will be compressed to reduce the "choppiness" of the video. Also, the maximum resolution of a webcam is considerably lower than the other handheld video cameras. For this reason, they may not be ideal for filming a movie.

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