What is a Webcam ?

A webcam, or web camera, is the loosely used term for any camera that generates images that can be accessed by and displayed on the world wide web through a server.

A webcam is essentially just a camera that is connected to a computer, either directly or wirelessly, and gathers a series of images for remote display elsewhere.

Webcam technology is widely used by all sorts of people for all sorts of different reasons.

In 1991, the first webcam was up and running at Cambridge University’s Computer Science Department, but since then, webcams have crept into homes, businesses, public streets and buildings.

Webcams are often used for personal use in the home by parents who want to give distant relatives visual access to their children or want to monitor what goes on in the home while they are at work.

People might also use webcams in the home to keep an eye on things while they are out of town or even just to see what their pets do all day. The uses of a webcam are limitless.

Businesses often use webcams for video conferencing, and webcam technology is used by numerous other entities to give the public access to a variety of information, from weather and traffic to the feeding habits of the most recently acquired zoo animal. Some schools and day care facilities use a webcam to allow parents to see what their children do at school.

The webcam basically works by capturing a series of digital images that are transferred by the computer to a server and then displayed to the hosting page. There are even sites that allow users to upload and store their webcam images for free, which many individuals choose for personal use.

Webcams vary in their capabilities and features, and the variances are reflected in price. Some webcams capture a still image only once every 30 seconds, while others provide streaming video by capturing 30 images per second. A webcam can be purchased at any computer store and most major electronics retailers, as well as online. A knowledgeable sales associate should be able to help any consumer choose the right webcam.

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