Webcams (web cameras) are small cameras (usually, though not always, video cameras), whose images can be accessed using the World Wide Web, instant messaging, or a PC video conferencing application. A video camera is a Camera used for electronic Motion picture acquisition initially developed by the Television industry but now common in other applications The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked Hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. The term webcam is also used to describe the low-resolution digital video cameras designed for such purposes, but which can also be used to record in a non-real-time fashion.
Web-accessible cameras involve a digital camera which uploads images to a web server, either continuously or at regular intervals. The term web server can mean one of two things A Computer program that is responsible for accepting HTTP requests from web clients which are This may be achieved by a camera attached to a PC, or by dedicated hardware. Videoconferencing cameras typically take the form of a small camera connected directly to a PC. A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) is a set of interactive Telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact Analog cameras are also sometimes used (often of the sort used for closed-circuit television), connected to a video capture card and then directly or indirectly to the internet. Closed-circuit television ( CCTV) is the use of Video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place limited set of monitors A Video processing expansion card is a computer Expansion card that allows a computer to receive television signals record video and/or playback video content
Started in 1991, the first webcam was pointed at the Trojan room coffee pot in the computer science department of Cambridge University. The Trojan Room coffee pot was the inspiration for the world's first Webcam. The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University) located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the This webcam is now defunct, as it was finally switched off on August 22, 2001. Events 392 - Arbogast has Eugenius elected Western Roman Emperor. Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. The final image captured by the camera can still be viewed at the webcam's homepage .
The oldest webcam still operating is FogCam at San Francisco State University, which has been running continuously since 1994. San Francisco State University (informally referred to as San Francisco State, SF State, State and SFSU) is a public University
As with many new technologies, webcams and webcam chat found early commercial adoption and aggressive technology advancement through use by the pornography industry. Pornography or porn is the explicit depiction of Sexual subject matter with the sole intention of sexually exciting the viewer The adult industry required 'live' images and requested a Dutch developer to write a piece of software that could do this without requiring web browser plugins. A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text images videos music games and other information typically located on a This led to the birth of the 'live streaming webcam', which is still available in various forms today.
One of the most widely reported-on webcam sites was JenniCam, started in 1996, which allowed Internet users to constantly observe the life of its namesake, somewhat like reality TV series Big Brother, launched three years later. JenniCam (or JenniCAM)—subtitled "life online"—was a popular website from April 1996 until the end of 2003 Big Brother is a Reality television show where in each series a group of people live together in the Big Brother House isolated from the outside world but continuously More recently, the website Justin.tv has shown a continuous video and audio stream from a mobile camera mounted on the head of the site's star. Justintv, founded in San Francisco by Justin Kan is a network of diverse channels providing a platform for lifecasting and live video streaming of events online
Recently, Apple and other computer hardware manufactures began building webcams directly into laptop and desktop screens. This eliminates the need to use an external usb or firewire webcam. This has been branded the NiK-cam.
In addition to use for personal videoconferencing, it was quickly realised that World Wide Web users enjoyed viewing images from cameras set up by others elsewhere in the world. A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) is a set of interactive Telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked Hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. While the term "webcam" refers to the technology generally, the first part of the term ("web-") is often replaced with a word describing what can be viewed with the camera, such as a netcam or streetcam. Webcams ( web cameras) are small cameras (usually though not always Video cameras, whose images can be accessed using the World Wide Web, instant Educators can use webcams to take their students on virtual field trips.
Today there are millions of webcams that provide views into homes, offices and other buildings as well as providing panoramic views of cities (Metrocams) and the countryside. Webcams are used to monitor traffic with TraffiCams, the weather with WeatherCams and even volcanoes with VolcanoCams. Plate tectonics and hotspots Divergent plate boundaries At the Webcam aggregators allow viewers to search for specific webcams based on geography or other criteria.
Webcams connected to PCs can act as web-accessible cameras with certain software. Usually, this kind of software works with almost every webcam. Many different programs are available. Some of them are free and open source. Webcam software can be configured in many ways. Some software come with motion detection ability and time lapse capture options or both. Captures can be short videos in predefined length or still images.
The captured files can be saved locally, uploaded to an internet server (via FTP or HTTP) (from which they can be made accessible to anyone over the web), or privately e-mailed to the user per predefined rules. Hypertext Transfer Protocol ( HTTP) is a Communications protocol for the transfer of information on the Internet. Options for image size and quality, overlaying logos, and time stamping images are usually available. File names can be sequential numbers or current time. Some software allow automatic erasure of old files when not needed.
Some software can remotely control certain brands of cameras, allowing rotation and tilting.
As webcam capabilities have been added to instant messaging text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, one-to-one live video communication over the internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide. Increased video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems. New features such as lighting, real-time enhancements (retouching, wrinkle smoothing and vertical stretch) can make users more comfortable, further increasing popularity. Features and performance vary between programs.
Videoconferencing support is included in programs including Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Windows Live Messenger, Skype, iChat, Ekiga and Camfrog. Yahoo! Messenger is an Advertisement -supported Instant messaging client and associated protocol provided by Yahoo!. Windows Live Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger Skype (skaɪp is Software that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet. iChat AV is an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM.Mac, ICQ and XMPP client by Apple Inc Ekiga (formerly called GnomeMeeting) is a free and open source VoIP and Video conferencing application for GNOME Camfrog is a video chat software program and community It is owned by Camshare LLC
Some online video broadcasting sites have taken advantage of this technology to create internet television programs centered around two (or more) people "diavlogging" with each other from two different places. Bloggingheadstv is a Political, world events Philosophy, and Science Video blog discussion site in which the participants take part in an active Among others, BloggingHeads.tv uses this technology to set up conversations between prominent journalists, scientists, bloggers, and philosophers. Bloggingheadstv is a Political, world events Philosophy, and Science Video blog discussion site in which the participants take part in an active
Webcams are being used for security purposes. Software is available allowing PC-connected cameras to watch for movement and sound, recording both when they are detected; these recordings can be saved to the computer, e-mailed or uploaded to the internet. In one well-publicised case, a computer e-mailed out images as the burglar stole it, allowing the owner to give police a clear picture of the burglar's face even after the computer had been stolen.
Special software can use the video stream from a webcam to assist or enhance a user's control of applications and games. Video features, including faces, shapes, models and colors can be observed and tracked to produce a corresponding form of control. For example, the position of a single light source can be tracked and used to emulate a mouse pointer, a head mounted light would allow hands-free computing and would greatly improve computer accessibility. Hands-free computing is a term used to describe a Configuration of Computers so that they can be used by persons without the use of the Hands interfacing In Human-computer interaction, computer accessibility (also known as Accessible computing) refers to the Accessibility of a Computer system to This can also be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.
FreeTrack is a free webcam motion tracking application for Microsoft Windows that can track a special head mounted model in up to six degrees of freedom and output data to mouse, keyboard, joystick and FreeTrack supported games. FreeTrack is a free general purpose Optical motion tracking application for Microsoft Windows, released under the GNU General Public License. Microsoft Windows is a series of Software Operating systems and Graphical user interfaces produced by Microsoft. This is a list of PC games that can interface directly with FreeTrack, without using mouse keyboard or joystick emulation
The EyeToy for the PlayStation 2 and similarly the Xbox Live Vision Camera for the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live are color digital cameras that have been used as control input devices by some games. History The EyeToy was originally devised by Dr Richard Marks who had the idea of connecting a Web camera to a PlayStation 2 and using it to play games Overview The camera can be used for Video chat, personalized gamer pictures in-game video chat and still pictures The Xbox 360 is the second Video game console produced by Microsoft, and was developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI, and SiS. Xbox Live (trademarked as Xbox LIVE) is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft Corporation
Small webcam-based PC games are available as either standalone executables or inside web browser windows using Adobe Flash. Adobe Flash (previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash) is a set of Multimedia software created by Macromedia and currently
A webcam that records to a video file is essentially no different from any other video camera which records directly to hard disk, including hi-def cameras such as the Thomson Viper, which would never be described as webcams. Digital cinematography is the process of capturing Motion pictures as Digital images rather than on film. However, webcam is frequently used to describe any footage shot on the digital video cameras designed for real-time webcam use, recognizable by the distinct quality of image such cameras offer. An example of such webcam use would be in the film Dark Night by Justin Hall. Justin Hall (born December 16, 1974 in Chicago Illinois) is an American freelance Journalist who is best known as a pioneer
Due to the increasing volume of webcams throughout the world, aggregator websites have arisen, allowing users to find live video streams based on location or other criteria. Aggregators such as Livelook and Earthcam provide collections of thousands of live video streams.
Webcams typically include a lens, an image sensor, and some support electronics. An image sensor is a device that converts an optical image to an electric signal Various lenses are available, the most common being a plastic lens that can be screwed in and out to set the camera's focus. Fixed focus lenses, which require no adjustment, are also available. A fixed-focus lens is a lens of which the focus is not adjustable Image sensors can be CMOS or CCD, the former being dominant for low-cost cameras, but CCD cameras do not necessarily outperform CMOS-based cameras in the low cost price range. An active-pixel sensor (APS, also commonly written active pixel sensor, is an Image sensor consisting of an Integrated circuit containing an array of pixel A charge-coupled device ( CCD) is an analog Shift register, that enables the transportation of analog signals (electric charges through successive stages (capacitors Consumer webcams usually offer a resolution in the VGA region, at a rate of around 25 frames per second. The term Video Graphics Array ( VGA) refers specifically to the display hardware first introduced with the IBM PS/2 line of computers in 1987, but through its widespread The higher resolution of 1. 3 Megapixel is also available from the brands Microsoft, Logitech, and HP.
Support electronics are present to read the image from the sensor and transmit it to the host computer. The camera pictured to the right, for example, uses a Sonix SN9C101 to transmit its image over USB. Some cameras - such as mobile phone cameras - use a CMOS sensor with supporting electronics "on die", i. e. the sensor and the support electronics are built on a single silicon chip to save space and manufacturing costs. Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside
Some webcams feature built in microphones to make video conferencing more convenient. Creative Technology has introduced a webcam featuring built in noise cancellation to focus the audio to the speaker who is directly in front of the camera, excluding ambient noise. Creative Technology Limited ( is a listed manufacturer of computer Multimedia products based in Singapore, where the firm was founded and now under the executive
The USB video device class (UVC) specification allows for interconnectivity of webcams to computers even without proprietary drivers installed. The USB video device class (also USB video class or UVC) is a USB device class that describes devices capable of streaming video like webcams Microsoft Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10. Windows Vista (ˈvɪstə is a line of Operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on Personal computers including home and business desktops Mac OS X (mæk oʊ ɛs tɛn is a line of computer Operating systems developed marketed and sold by Apple Inc, the latest of which is pre-loaded on all currently 5 have UVC drivers built in and do not require extra drivers, although they are often installed in order to add additional features.
Some 'Trojan horse' programs can allow malicious hackers to activate a computer's camera without the user's knowledge, providing the hacker with a live video feed from the unfortunate user's camera. This article refers to a form of Malware in computing terminology Cameras such as Apple's older external iSight cameras include lens covers to thwart this. Apple Inc, ( formerly Apple Computer Inc, is an American Multinational corporation with a focus on designing and manufacturing Consumer electronics iSight was a Webcam developed and marketed by Apple Inc The iSight was sold retail for US$ 149 as an external unit which connects to a computer via Most other webcams have a built-in LED that lights up whenever the camera is active (such as Apple's newer internal iSight).
In mid-January 2005 some search engine queries were published in an on-line forum which allow anyone to find thousands of Panasonic- and Axis-made high-end web cameras accessible through the web. Axis Communications AB ( is a manufacturer of IT equipment mostly known for its Print servers and network cameras. Many such cameras are running on default configuration, which does not require any password login or IP address verification, making them visible to anyone. In computing a password is a Word or string of characters that is entered often along with a user name, in modern times usually into a computer system An Internet Protocol ( IP) address is a numerical identification ( Logical address) that is assigned to devices participating in a Computer network