Other popular uses include security surveillance, computer vision, video broadcasting, and for recording social videos.

The video streams provided by webcams can be used for a number of purposes, each using appropriate software: Most modern webcams are capable of capturing arterial pulse rate by the use of a simple algorithmic trick.

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The Webcam Social Shopper is one example of software that utilizes the webcam in this manner.

Webcam can be added to instant messaging, text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, and Vo IP services such as Skype, one-to-one live video communication over the Internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide.

By removing the IR filter of the webcam, IR LEDs can be used, which has the advantage of being invisible to the naked eye, removing a distraction from the user.

Track IR is a commercial version of this technology.

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 enable hands-free computing and would greatly improve computer accessibility.

Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems.

New features such as automatic lighting controls, real-time enhancements (retouching, wrinkle smoothing and vertical stretch), automatic face tracking and autofocus, assist users by providing substantial ease-of-use, further increasing the popularity of webcams.

A webcam is a video camera that feeds or streams its image in real time to or through a computer to a computer network.

When "captured" by the computer, the video stream may be saved, viewed or sent on to other networks via systems such as the internet, and emailed as an attachment.

Webcam features and performance can vary by program, computer operating system, and also by the computer's processor capabilities.