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.
They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated by spyware.
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.
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.
This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.One such function has the webcam act as a "magic mirror" to allow an online shopper to view a virtual item on themselves.The Webcam Social Shopper is one example of software that utilizes the webcam in this manner.Some of them, for example, those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, rugged professional video cameras.making them the lowest-cost form of videotelephony.When "captured" by the computer, the video stream may be saved, viewed or sent on to other networks via systems such as the internet, and emailed as an attachment.