There’s a keystone in every great invention.
When your kids head back to school, whether they are headed to college or a boarding school, going to a campus that is just across the state or halfway across the country, you want to be able to keep in touch. One of the growing forms of communication in the last few years has been webcams, thanks to being able to record messages or provide real-time video communication. Apps and websites such as Skype, Tinychat, YouTube, and more make it easy, even for beginners.
Types of Webcams
There are two basic types of webcams used today – built-in or independent. Built-ins are almost exclusive to laptops, and while they are included in the price of a laptop, they tend to provide a lower image quality and are limited in what they can display. Independent webcams will be more expensive, in addition to the cost of the computer itself, but also come with a lot of benefits. They generally have better image quality, are more durable, and can be moved around to be aimed at or focused on whatever you like. Logitech makes some of the top webcams on the market, ranging from basic to professional, while Live! Cam and HP HD cams are also rated highly.
What Makes Up My Webcam?
Webcams are fairly basic when it comes down to it, as they are simply compact video cameras that stream directly to a computer instead of recording to a storage device. The components of a webcam are:
Lens and Focus – The camera part of the webcam, this is how the webcam sees the subject matter.
Charge-Coupled Device or CMOS Image Sensor – An image-sensing microchip that converts the picture seen by the lens and focus and translates it into digital format.
USB Transfer – A two-way cable that supplies power to the webcam, avoiding the need for an on-board power source, while transferring the translated images to the computer.
Stand or Mount – A way to steady the camera to provide even, steady images.
Microphone – While they are not included in all webcams, many do incorporate a microphone to pick up sound to go with the image. In some cases, an individual microphone may be needed if one is not included with the webcam, or if a microphone that provides better sound quality is desired.
Indicator LED – Usually a single-color LED that blinks or stays on solid to indicate usage, so the subject knows when it is on.