Webcam is an English term that can be translated into Spanish as a webcam or camera for transmitting video over the Internet. Indeed, it is a camera that makes it possible for the captured images to be viewed directly on other devices connected to the Internet.

This means that the Webcam is used to establish conversations between people who are separated by great distances, but united by the Internet. Today, most laptops come with a built-in Webcam on top of their screen. In the event that a computer does not have a webcam, one can be added through various types of connection.

What is the Webcam

The webcam or web camera is a digital video camera that works as a peripheral device in desktop and laptop computers. These cameras allow you to scan the environment in front of your lens in real time and transmit that information in video format over the Internet.

What is the Webcam for

The uses that can be given to the webcam, as well as their reasons, are quite diverse:

The Webcam is used for videoconferencing

Due to their characteristics, webcams are used to take advantage of the videoconferencing functions of programs such as Skype, Messenger, WhatsApp and other applications and instant messaging services.

The Webcam serves as a live broadcast

Another widely used use of webcams is the continuous transmission of live images (video transmission) from certain parts of the world. The use of the installation of webcams in tourist attractions has spread throughout the world.

Webcam serves as a security system

A third frequent use of webcams is in the implementation of video surveillance systems. The appearance of specialized software for these tasks gave webcams great versatility. Most security systems implemented with a webcam allow recording videos on the computer’s hard drive.

When it comes to where they can be useful as security systems, the options are also varied: public places, workplaces such as offices, private homes, construction sites, etc.

The Webcam serves to create a means of income

The webcam itself also represents a source for business and income creation. For example, to offer transmissions conditional on a previous payment or to provide the famous online Coaching services, among others.

How Webcams Work

In order for the images or videos to be transmitted over the Internet, the web cameras previously send the sequences of images collected in the form of encrypted data packets to a web server. This procedure can be performed either on demand, continuously or at regular user-defined intervals.

There are also some modern models that have special hardware and software that allow the camera to work independently in the same way as a web server, FTP server, FTP client, or email server.

In either case, for the webcam to work it must be connected to a computer in one of the following ways:

1. By using a cable with USB connection

Most webcams sold at computer supply stores come with this type of cable. This type of connection is generally made in the case of desktops or laptops that are older or have a damaged or misconfigured webcam.

2. Webcam integrated into the monitor

All relatively recent laptops typically have the webcam built into the top center of the display frame. This type of configuration is also used by manufacturers of embedded computers, also known as “all in one”.

3. Bluetooth webcam connection

This is an ideal solution for those who don’t like to see too many cables around their PCs. Another advantage of using this type of connection, in addition to eliminating wiring, is that they give the freedom to place the webcams in many more positions than the wired ones. You can also use several webcams at the same time according to the needs that the user may have.

In addition to these types of connections, webcams can also be connected using FireWire ports, audio and video ports, charging ports, 30-pin ports, among others. But these types of connections are much less used than those mentioned above.

Webcam types

Almost 30 years have passed since the first webcam was used in the Cambridge University cafeteria. In all this time, along with technology, webcams have also evolved, adding new features and various functionalities. As a consequence of these changes, today it is possible to talk about different types of webcam.

Webcam for video conferencing: characteristics and use

Even the cheapest webcam allows you to video conference over the Internet. However, it is worth considering the purchase well to buy a device according to need.

Video conferencing is useful in large companies where employees are located in various branches of the country and the world. Thanks to videoconferencing, it is possible to establish free communications, not only in the 1: 1 model. The consultations of several employees can be carried out virtually thanks to the webcams with this option.

However, attention should be paid to whether the camera already has a built-in microphone, or does it need to be purchased separately. Very often, cameras used for video conferencing do not have a high resolution, because the most important thing is speed.

Webcam for security: characteristic and use

These devices are used for remote monitoring of commercial, production, industrial, warehouse, and other objects. Usually, security webcams are purchased by the management of a company to support the work of security officers.

Most monitoring webcams include infrared lighting, powerful enough to provide a regular view of the monitored area at night or in low light conditions. Like conference webcams, images from these webcams also go direct to the Internet.

All that is required is to install the appropriate software for the webcam to become a motion detector that will record an image or sequence of images on the computer’s hard drive.

Before selecting a webcam to be used for surveillance, it should be verified whether its parameters will allow it to work properly with the monitoring software.

Webcam for PC: characteristics and use

Generally, all the available webcams on the market could be listed here. However, there are webcams specially designed to allow direct installation on a PC or laptop monitor. These types of webcams can be connected to the computer by using a USB cable. Regarding the rest of the functionality and capabilities, they are similar to those of any conventional webcam.

The list of webcam types is much longer and the criteria for their classification can be practically unlimited. However, whatever the type of webcam you want to use, for a camera to work without problems, it is necessary to correctly install its drivers on the computer.

How to install a webcam

The procedure for installing a webcam should not be a problem. Basically, the following two steps should be followed:

  • Unpack the webcam and connect directly through a USB port, to the computer.
  • After the computer’s operating system detects the new hardware, it proceeds with the installation of the drivers that come on the attached installation disc.

Although it is really quite a simple procedure, some users with little or no computer experience may encounter difficulties.

Conclusion on the usefulness of the webcam

Since the appearance of the first webcam, the possible uses for this peripheral device have multiplied. Whether for personal conversations or to negotiate with people located in different parts of the hemisphere, a webcam will always be necessary.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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