A webcam is a video camera that feeds its images in real time to a computer or computer network, often via USB, ethernet, or Wi-Fi. Their most popular use is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations. The common use as a video camera for the World Wide Web gave the webcam its name. Other popular uses include security surveillance, computer vision, video broadcasting, and for recording social videos . Webcams are known for their low manufacturing cost and flexibility, making them the lowest cost form of videotelephony. They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated via spyware. First developed in 1991, a webcam was pointed at the Trojan Room coffee pot in the Cambridge University Computer Science Department. The camera was finally switched off on August 22, 2001. The final image captured by the camera can still be viewed at its homepage.
Contributions by Fan-1967, GraemeL, and Mike1024.