Webcam

Updated: 10/02/2017 by Computer Hope

Computer webcamA webcam is a hardware camera and input device that connects to a computer and the Internet and captures either still pictures or motion video of a user or other object. The picture of the Logitech Webcam C270 is an example of what a webcam may look. Today, most webcams are either embedded into the display with laptop computers or connected to the USB or FireWire port on the computer.

First webcamThe first webcam is considered to be the XCoffee, also known as the Trojan Room coffee pot. The camera started in 1991 with the help of Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Paul Jardetzky and connected to the Internet in November of 1993 with the help of Daniel Gordon and Martyn Johnson. The camera monitored a coffee pot outside the Trojan Room in the University of Cambridge, so people didn't have to make trips to the coffee pot when it didn't have any coffee. After being mentioned in the press, the website had over 150,000 people online watching the coffee pot. The webcam went offline August 22, 2001. The picture to the left is an example of how the XCoffee appeared online.

Note: Unlike a digital camera and digital camcorder, a webcam does not have any built-in storage. Instead, it is always connected to a computer and uses the computer hard drive as its storage.

Camera, Camera terms, Hardware terms, Input device, iSight