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.
making them the lowest-cost form of videotelephony.
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 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.
In December 2011, Russia announced that 290,000 Webcams would be installed in 90,000 polling stations to monitor the Russian presidential election, 2012.