The Computer Revolution/Peripherals/Web Cameras

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A web cam is a device that usually connects to the computer via a USB port. A web cam takes what it sees in it's lens and transmits it to the computer as an image.

Now a days web cams are used for a variety of things. For example, you can chat with a friend or relative across the globe and have a video conference so you can see them and they can see you. Web cameras posses many positive and negative qualities.

History of the Web Camera[edit | edit source]

In 1991, the Web Camera was born in Cambridge University, in the Trojan room coffee pot, in the computer science department. [1]

On this website you will see the first image of the Trojan room coffee pot that the web camera gave; as well as a detailed description of how the science department configured the camera.

Web cameras are a magnificent choice for people who want to share information via the Internet. It's main role is to show a video with sound from one computer onto another computer and vice versa with just a web camera to gather what its sharing. This allows people in any situation to converse over the web however they want. Web cameras are made in different sizes and shapes. Some web cameras are built inside a computer and some are round with a camera in the center. Any web camera, as long as its not built in can be placed anywhere and used whenever it is plugged into a system that allows web camera usage. Web camera are nothing more than a camera that can record data and send it out, while receiving it simultaneously . It also can transfer data instantly allowing multiple people to use a web camera at the same time together.


The Advantages of Web Cameras[edit | edit source]

  • A web cam enables individuals to monitor their home while away
  • A web cam can be used to take pictures and make videos
  • Older individuals who have difficulty leaving their home but who want to still keep in touch with their friends can use a web cam to do so
  • Hearing Impaired individuals find the web cam useful when communicating with others
  • With a web cam you can observe your babysitter's behaviour toward your child
  • Inter-office communication between cities can be set up at a reasonable cost (i.e. video-conferencing at a fraction of the price)
  • Useful for individuals who have social anxiety and don't like to meet people in person, perhaps a blind date situation
  • Communication can be ended at any time at the click of your mouse

The Disadvantages of Having a Web Cam[edit | edit source]

  • A potential invasion of privacy exists
  • Because web cams have high quality resolution and are easy to use, they can be used to exploit children through pornography
  • Web cams are movable which increases the risk for damage
  • Web cams remove the need to socialize in person creating a lack of human interaction
  • As people spend more time watching TV, surfing the internet, playing computer games, etc., the web cam is yet another health hazard

The Different Types of Web Cameras[edit | edit source]

  • IP Camera

The Price of a Web Camera[edit | edit source]

The price of a web camera varies quite a bit depending on what additional features you require in a web camera. Here are a few different web cameras on the market, note prices included are published MSRP and may vary by retailer.

CP Technologies USB Mini PC WEB Flex CAM - Video conferences, video mail, photos and photograms

Available Since : Feb 28, 2004 Price : $17.29

HP Webcam, Integrate Microphone, Plug n Play USB Conn. This can used with integrated microphones to arrange video conferencing. This product can capture large video with 640 x 480 pixels resolution; it also has a high refresh rate of 30 frames per second.

Available Since: Nov 3, 2006 Price: $39.99

Microsoft Lifecam VX6000 USB WEB Camera - Compact camera which connects to your computer via a standard USB 2.0 interface. Allows you to participate in web conferencing, record high-resolution video to your computer and take 5 megapixel still images. An integrated microphone allows you also capture audio.

Available Since: Mar 6, 2006 Lowest Price: $75.61

Web Cameras and Virtual Travel[edit | edit source]

Hey who needs to leave there homes when all they need is a computer with internet access, I've always wanted to see Halifax Nova Scotia and by clicking below you to can see it live. You have to love the internet. lol