A webcam, web camera, or PC camera is a camera that broadcasts the images it takes over the Internet. The webcam became particularly popular because it enables video chats and video telephony, such as Skype. A webcam is either connected externally to the PC via a USB interface or, especially in the case of laptops, is permanently built into the screen.
- The world’s first webcam was developed at Cambridge University – just for fun.
- Today the webcam is used all over the world and for all kinds of purposes.
- If you want to buy a new webcam, you should pay attention to a good autofocus and a good lens.
The first webcam filmed a coffee machine
The world’s first webcam was developed at Cambridge University – for sheer fun: Quentin Staffford-Fraser installed a camera that casts a gray cast three times a minute so that the employees of the computer lab no longer had to walk across the house to find an empty coffee pot Sent an image of the coffee machine to the laboratory staff so that they could follow the level of the coffee pot. That was in 1991, when the Internet was just invented and only used by a few computer experts. However, it only took a few years before the webcam – like the World Wide Web – finally began its triumphant advance.
Webcams are widespread today
Today the webcam is used all over the world and for all kinds of purposes: in companies for video conferences, as a weather camera in holiday destinations, as part of security surveillance in front of buildings, as tourist advertising at sights, as an observer at construction sites or in the porn industry. This worldwide distribution is mainly due to the technology that is now very inexpensive, which makes the operation of a webcam easy and inexpensive.
How to recognize a good webcam
If you want to buy a new webcam, you should pay attention to a good autofocus and a good lens, because both are decisive for the image quality. The autofocus and lens ensure that the image does not become blurred with small movements. As a rule, high-priced cameras provide a better picture than cheap models – but only if the internet connection is constant.
Dangers from webcams
Malware doesn’t stop at webcams either – which can have fatal consequences. Once it has gained control of the webcam, it can send images to the network unnoticed and thus massively damage privacy. So that malware does not even get stuck on the computer or laptop, the following applies: Do not open any unknown attachments or links and keep your browser and virus protection programs up to date.