Webcams can be used to take video clips and still pictures.Various software tools in wide use can be employed for this, such as Pic Master (for use with Windows operating systems), Photo Booth (Mac), or Cheese (with Unix systems).This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.
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.
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.
They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated by spyware.
The most popular use of webcams is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations.
making them the lowest-cost form of videotelephony.
Despite the low cost, the resolution offered at present (2015) is rather impressive, with low-end webcams offering resolutions of 320×240, medium webcams offering 640×480 resolution, and high-end webcams offering 1280×720 (aka 720p) or even 1920×1080 (aka 1080p) resolution.
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.
When sent to a remote location, the video stream may be saved, viewed or on sent there.