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.This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.
The video streams provided by webcams can be used for a number of purposes, each using appropriate software: Most modern webcams are capable of capturing arterial pulse rate by the use of a simple algorithmic trick.
Researchers claim that this method is accurate to ±5 bpm.
The most popular use of webcams is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations.
Other popular uses include security surveillance, computer vision, video broadcasting, and for recording social videos.
Video calling support has also been added to several popular instant messaging programs. Software is available to allow PC-connected cameras to watch for movement and sound, a computer e-mailed images of the burglar during the theft of the computer, enabling the owner to give police a clear picture of the burglar's face even after the computer had been stolen.
Unauthorized access of webcams can present significant privacy issues (see "Privacy" section below).
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.
Webcam can be added to instant messaging, text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, and Vo IP services such as Skype, one-to-one live video communication over the Internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide.
Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems.