Concept Of Webcam | History, Classifications & Characteristics

Web Camera or Webcam. It is a digital camera connected to a computer, which can capture images and transmit them through the Internet, either to a Web page or to another or other computers privately.

Web cameras need a computer to transmit the images. However, there are other autonomous cameras that only need an access point to the computer network, either ethernet or wireless. To differentiate them Web cameras are called network cameras.

History Of Webcam

The webcam arises in the Department of Informatics at the University of Cambridge because of the need there was because the coffee maker was located in a basement. If someone wanted a coffee, they had to go down from their office and, if there was one, pour themselves a cup.

If there wasn’t, he had to. The rules said that the one who finishes the coffee maker must fill it, but there were always lists that did not meet the standards.

In 1991, Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Paul Jardetzky, who shared an office, tired of going down three floors and finding the cafeteria empty, decided to go on the counterattack.

They designed a client-server protocol that, connecting it to a camera, transmitted an image of the coffee maker at a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. Thus, from the screen of their computer, they knew when it was the right time to go down for a coffee, and incidentally, they knew who were the ones who ran out of the coffee pot and did not refill it.

The protocol was called coffee and after a few months of debugging, they decided to commercialize it. In 1992 the first webcam called XCam went on sale. The camera was finally switched off on August 22, 2001.

Classification Of Webcam

Webcameras: Web cameras are devices whose primary purpose is to record moving images. Among them are:

  • Professional video cameras such as those used in television and film production: These cameras have multiple colour sensors to improve resolution (RGB-red, green and blue sensors) and to improve colour gamut. Professional video cameras do not have a built-in VCR or microphone recording system.
  • Amateur video cameras: In this category are all those cameras that record video directly to a memory storage device. They usually have a microphone and an LCD screen to monitor filming.
  • Web cameras: They are digital cameras designed to work directly connected to a computer. They are generally used for video conferences or for video recordings; some models include micro-images that are continuously acquired directly into a digital video format.
  • Digital cameras with preview.
  • Canon PowerShot A95 camera: Live-preview cameras (LPDs) are cameras that use conventionally generated digital images on a liquid crystal display as the primary means of framing and previewing image before taking the picture.
  • Canon PowerShot A60 Camera: Many modern LPD cameras have a video recording function and an increasing number of video cameras are able to take pictures. Some LPD cameras can take much better pictures than an average video camera, average LPD cameras have lower video quality than low-line video cameras.
  • Compact digital cameras: Digicams (standard digital still cameras) encompass most digital still cameras. They are characterized by being quite simple to operate, as well as providing automatic functions for focusing (autofocus) and lighting management. Due to their small size, they have very short focal lengths, which produces a very wide depth of field, so that objects at different distances can be focused at the same time. Sometimes this quality can cause an unwanted effect in photography.
  • Bridge Cameras: Prosumer or digital bridge cameras form a general group within high-end LPD cameras that physically resemble DSLRs and share some advanced features with them.

Characteristics Of The Webcam

  • It has a generally low resolution, approximately 640 X 480 pixels since the images transmitted instantly by the Internet must have a very low file size.
  • Depending on the model, they have a rotating lens of up to 360 ° horizontal, a surface adaptable base, and even an integrated microphone.
  • They can take photos instantly but with low resolution.
  • Its design is very specific for entertainment applications and in some cases as a surveillance camera.
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