Video features, including faces, shapes, models and colors can be observed and tracked to produce a corresponding form of control.
Webcams have been used for augmented reality experiences online.
One such function has the webcam act as a "magic mirror" to allow an online shopper to view a virtual item on themselves.
The lenses of the cameras are removed and then these are attached to telescopes to record images, video, still, or both.
In newer techniques, videos of very faint objects are taken for a couple of seconds and then all the frames of the video are "stacked" together to obtain a still image of respectable contrast.
The term "webcam" (a clipped compound) may also be used in its original sense of a video camera connected to the Web continuously for an indefinite time, rather than for a particular session, generally supplying a view for anyone who visits its web page over the Internet.
Some of them, for example, those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, rugged professional video cameras.
Researchers claim that this method is accurate to ±5 bpm.
Webcams may be installed at places such as childcare centres, offices, shops and private areas to monitor security and general activity.
For a more complete list see Comparison of webcam software.
Special software can use the video stream from a webcam to assist or enhance a user's control of applications and games.
They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated by spyware.