Online webcams allow people to see one another in real-time. They are commonly used in videoconferencing applications, online teaching and live streaming. They are also used by parents who want to give distant relatives visual access to their children or even monitor what happens in the home when they are away. In the workplace, webcams can help increase productivity and make meetings more engaging. They can be found in homes, businesses, and public streets and buildings.
Webcams are generally simple devices with a lens that captures an image of the room or subject and transmits it over a USB interface to a computer. The camera may use a simple plastic lens or a more advanced, glass-lens system that can be manually adjusted for focus and resolution. Many newer webcams feature autofocus, meaning that the camera is automatically tuned to a face or other subject and can adjust to changing lighting conditions.
A wide range of websites has popped up to host online streams from cameras in many locations. These include aggregator websites that provide thousands of live videos, and sites focused on specific events or locales. One of the first widely reported-on examples was JenniCam, which allowed users to observe her life continuously, much like reality TV’s Big Brother. Other popular webcams are mounted overlooking bridges, public squares and other venues.
Streaming webcams are also used by universities and other educational institutions to offer online classes and virtual classrooms. Some students even study remotely by connecting to a class webcam with their mobile device or laptop. However, webcams can also be a security risk if hacked by cybercriminals. online webcams