What can I do with the built in webcam on my laptop?

Jay H May 31, 2013

Webcams undoubtedly have staggering potential…right?
What are some unorthodox, interesting, surprising, and/or mischievous uses? Must-Have apps/programs? Trickery to watch out for?
Right now it just sits there (:possibly watching me:)

  1. Mike Merritt
    June 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    You can use it for "Photo Log-in" to log into Windows instead of typing your password. There are free programs out there. Of course it's not really secure (fooled by a photograph) - but then a Linux boot CD will also easily bypass your "Secure" Windows log-in too. Also, I found the facial recognition software slower than just typing in my password. I had to take my glasses off to get it to work reliably. ... But it sure was fun and impressive .. If you can't find a freebie - I'll send you one http://www.BusinessSellCanada.com/sale/conmain.htm.

  2. kentcourtney
    June 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Webcams can be used for signing for the deaf and hard of hearing.

  3. Alan Wade
    June 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    You have had many repy's both good and silly. If you havn't yet found a suitable use for your webcam try sticking a plaster over the lens, that way you wont have to worry if its spying on you. :)

    • Réy Aétar
      June 2, 2013 at 7:43 am

      hilarous band aid would be fine

  4. polycarp mj
    June 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    #webcams can be used for video calling on Google talk,Skype,Facebook.

    #They are also used for taking photos ,

    #another use is for security that it can be used for face recognition instead of password one of the software used for this is keylemon (https://www.keylemon.com/)

    #you can also make many animation ,graphics and effects to your video using softwares like manycam (http://www.manycam.com/)

    #They are also used as surveillance camera as motion dectectors

  5. Joan Advincula
    June 1, 2013 at 7:26 am

    You could use it as a motion-sensor with a camera while you are AFK. (As long as you have the software, of course.)

    • Jay H
      June 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Which Software would you recommend? (shoot a list if poss.)

    • Joan Advincula
      June 21, 2013 at 5:36 am

      Yeah... No, no list. I only ever encountered one. It's called Rise Sun Motion Detector. It was pretty nifty. You just leave it on, it'll detect every motion within its range and, depending on your settings, send off an alarm and automatically take pictures capturing the motion.

  6. Nikhil Chandak
    June 1, 2013 at 5:51 am
    June 1, 2013 at 4:10 am


  8. Rajaa Chowdhury
    June 1, 2013 at 12:10 am

    I use my webcam with the open source iSpy project as a Security Surveillance system. Checkout http://www.ispyconnect.com/

  9. vishvas nayi
    May 31, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    You can use your webcam for many different things, firstly and the most common use is for video calls over skype or google hangouts, then taking pictures, surveillance and the coolest thing you can do with your webcam is to use it to log-in to your PC/laptop using your face (face recognition).

  10. Oron Joffe
    May 31, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Place a small mirror at 45 degrees to the camera, and another at 90 degrees to the first one, and voila - you have a rear-facing camera!

    • DalSan M
      May 31, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      This definitely meets the unorthodox criteria.

  11. Rob H
    May 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Not sure that the list meets your requirements of "unorthodox, interesting, surprising, etc" but here goes:
    See who stole your laptop http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2011/03/22/the-awesome-story-of-the-stolen-laptop-and-one-very-embarrassing-video/
    Face identification for logon
    Burglar detector - set to start recording if there's movement in the room
    Recording meetings (possibly covertly)
    Use motion detector to set it to watch for an uncommon event http://smp.uq.edu.au/content/pitch-drop-experiment
    Point it at a slow acting "thing" to take periodic images which can then replay speeded up as a movie - like watching a flower open
    Use it for stop-motion animation (like plasticine models yopu move slightly between frames to make a movie)
    Making your fantastic YouTube tutorial "10 uses for a webcam" (and share the royalty cheque with me!)

  12. DalSan M
    May 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    There are apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone that allows the viewing of webcams for security purposes. These apps have to have the desktop app installed on the computer that you wish to view the webcam, and some of the apps have motion and/or sound detection so that if someone were to enter your home and pass in front of your computer, then the computer can either start recording or alert you on your phone so that you can see what is going on.

    There are spy-apps that can do similar, so be careful. Remote access to a computer with the ability to view the webcam is not unheard of, so it is recommended to cover the webcam with something so that nothing can be seen is recommended, then it can be removed when you wish to use it.

  13. ha14
    May 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    You can do demonstrations, teaching, conference...

  14. Paul Vi
    May 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Agree with Alan use skype to video call your friends or family.

  15. Stefano Bossi
    May 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Hi Jay, one that pops up immediately in my head is to use it as a surveillance camera so you can monitor your place while you're out. Here is a recent article explaining how:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5828255_use-laptop_s-built-camera-surveillance.html but there are many others on the web. Another would be to leave it always on and record yourself to make a video diary of your daily life. Hope this helps :)

  16. Alan Wade
    May 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    You could use it with Skype for video phone calls.

    • Mike D
      June 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      The easy thing is to use it as a web cam or just take pictures of your self or people that you are chatting with.

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