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.
When sent to a remote location, the video stream may be saved, viewed or on sent there.
Webcams may be installed at places such as childcare centres, offices, shops and private areas to monitor security and general activity.
Webcams have been used for augmented reality experiences online.
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.
This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.