Unprotected web cameras

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Webcams can be used to take video clips and still pictures.Various software tools in wide use can be employed for this, such as Pic Master (for use with Windows operating systems), Photo Booth (Mac), or Cheese (with Unix systems).It’s security cameras only – USB connected webcams or laptops have been discounted, and as the site itself points out: “These cameras are not hacked.Owners of these cameras use default password by unknown reason.” PC World reports that Insecam gives a startling amount of information about each stream, including the camera’s location, model and login credentials – “usually some variation on ‘admin'”.As we’ve reported before, users and businesses leaving their router username and passwords as the manufacturer’s default are potentially leaving themselves open to an easy hack, but a new website has sprung up illustrating the point in alarming detail.Insecam purports to show 73,000 security cameras from around the world, where users can drop in and stream their content, Mashable reports.Video features, including faces, shapes, models and colors can be observed and tracked to produce a corresponding form of control.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.

Unlike an IP camera (which connects using Ethernet or Wi-Fi), a webcam is generally connected by a USB cable, or similar cable, or built into computer hardware, such as laptops.

Webcams have been used for augmented reality experiences online.

One such function has the webcam act as a "magic mirror" to allow an online shopper to view a virtual item on themselves.

For a more complete list see Comparison of webcam software.

Special software can use the video stream from a webcam to assist or enhance a user's control of applications and games.

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