Contributor(s): Thomas Rene

A cam, homecam, or Webcam is a video camera, usually attached directly to a computer, whose current or latest image is requestable from a Web site. A live cam is one that is continually providing new images that are transmitted in rapid succession or, in some cases, in streaming video. Sites with live cams sometimes embed them as Java applets in Web pages. Cams have caught on; there are now (we estimate) several thousand sites with cams. The first cams were positioned mainly on fish tanks and coffee machines. Many of today's live cams are on sex-oriented sites. For travel promotion, traffic information, and the remote visualization of any ongoing event that's interesting, webcams seem like an exciting possibility that will become more common as users get access to more bandwidth.

This was last updated in September 2005

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It's amazing how quickly the ever upcoming "video phone" has gone from promotion and speculation to commonplace. Morphed (or gown) into the webcam, cameras are everywhere. They can be intrusive (fortunately the OFF switch handles most of that problem) or an essential adjunct to doing good business. In time, users will see the webcam as important for business as the website itself.