A webcam, also known as a web video camera or a streaming video camera is used to capture images and transmit them over the Internet, typically using software on a computer. Webcams can be built into laptop computers or standalone devices that connect via USB or wirelessly. Streaming video cameras usually have higher resolutions and features such as facial recognition, background removal and automatic lighting control.

online webcams allow users to have one-to-one video chat with friends, family or business colleagues for online communication. They are also used in videoconferencing for remote meetings and online education. In addition, high-quality webcams provide a more natural teaching experience by allowing students to see teacher body language and non-verbal cues as well as display whiteboards for better visual illustration of class materials.

Many popular instant messaging programs such as Skype and Google Hangouts include webcam technology for direct, face-to-face video communication. Some webcams are even built into desktop monitors to make a personal home or office environment more productive and convenient. As video quality improves, more and more people are incorporating webcams into their everyday lives.

Streaming webcams are also widely used in corporate environments to facilitate videoconferencing for meetings with employees who are on the go, at home or abroad. Hotels use webcams to entice tourists with glimpses of their rooms and amenities while security companies utilize the technology for surveillance and monitoring purposes. There are even aggregator websites which feature live streaming video from bridges, buildings and other public places that can be viewed by anyone in the world.