Three Surprising Uses for the Simple Webcam

With so many different developments in technology in the last few years, especially with regards to computer hardware, it’s sometimes easy to overlook things. One such example is the humble webcam. Once thought of as the pinnacle of modern tech, offering the ability to connect people from far and wide, as our phones have become our lifelines to the world, our webcams often go underutilized. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some surprising and exciting leaps forward when it comes to the webcam.

From being a simple yet effective home security device to revolutionizing how we play poker online, the webcam has come along far since its inception and looks to continue to being developed as our computer tech expands.

              Source: Pixabay The simple webcam offers a surprising range of uses you might not know about. 

Using the Webcam for Live Poker

Online poker has definitely grown in popularity since it sprung onto screens. That is in part due to the changing ways in which players have to connect with the game. Once a simple coding exercise of card probability, online poker is constantly being shaped by other ways in which we engage with gaming on a broader level.

That’s why live poker has come into its own. Live poker enables players to see the dealer and use the webcam to interact as they play their hands. The technology is simple yet effective. Live poker shows a move towards a more interactive and immersive version of Texas Hold ‘Em, Seven Card Stud, or Omaha Hi-Lo that players know and love, and offers the chance to practice the interpersonal elements of playing poker.

For those wanting to practice online for larger tournaments, perhaps even live-streamed ones, the need to cover expressions is a key aspect of playing the game. In an adjacent move, live streaming has certainly gained in popularity and, by using some of this momentum to offer a sort of live streamed game of poker, games developers have been able to tap into the engagement fans have with the ability to use the webcam to play.

The World Series of Poker Main Event saw 7,221 players opting to pay in $10,000 to participate in the tournament. The rise in numbers shows that live poker has not only grown in popularity itself but has also enabled online poker’s popularity to continue to grow. Live poker is definitely an underrated use of the webcam but one that, once used, is hard to go back from.

Using the Webcam for Home Security

Home security has never been more important than in the age of technology. From simple locks and keys being the only safety mechanisms – and way of offering peace of mind – to protect our bricks and mortar, we’re advancing.

We go to lengths to protect our technology with other technology, so why not our most valuable possessions. Using your webcam as a way of monitoring your home builds on from the various steps in live streaming and data capture, meaning you can view your home from work and ensure everything is alright with it; it’s a technological solution to home security. Walking home late at night, you can send the footage to your phone so you know there’s a nice warm, safe house waiting for you.

There are even free and affordable options, such as Yawcam, HomeCamera, and Yoics, which combine motion capture sensor technology with the simple webcam. Some people even choose to use a live stream through their webcam to watch their pets while they’re at work.

Unlike obtrusive security cameras, the simple webcam can be overlooked and makes the perfect discreet home security device through the fact that it is hiding in plain sight. Ultimately, using the webcam for home security doesn’t just offer a use for a piece of hardware that might otherwise have gone to waste; it offers peace of mind that your home is being monitored. You may never need to have used a webcam to monitor your house but, if anything did happen, you’d be very happy that you did.

Using the Webcam to Control Video Games

Most people are unaware of the final use of the webcam – controlling video games. As gaming technology advances at an exponential rate, some of the developments slip through the cracks, and controlling video games with the webcam is one of them.

This is possible through the motion capture technology that the webcam provides and goes on to work with software such as CamSpace to turn almost any object into a video game controller. For example, motion-capturing a simple toy steering wheel could be turned into a controller for a racing game. A tennis racquet or ping pong paddle could be used to play the game virtually, or even a water pistol could be coded in for a shoot ‘em up.

The technology is reminiscent of a primitive form of the Nintendo Wii, which used the controller remote for a variety of party games. This tech is the same, yet requires far less for you to actually engage with it than purchasing a Wii. With an armada of gaming options to choose from, those which intersect your direct physical environment with a virtual one are becoming the most popular.

The webcam is still used a tremendous amount – although we are unaware that we use it so much. The webcam is still a key feature of chat sites and video call platforms. Twitch gains millions of followers per month for various live streams, most of which are undertaken with a webcam.

While the quality of the webcam ranges from the one built-in to the laptop to state of the art varieties, the technology of the webcam remains the same. The webcam allows us to engage further in playing games through live poker; offers a peace of mind security solution for our homes, and gives us another way of playing video games that most people are unaware of.

The webcam is one of those tools that is underappreciated when it’s there but would definitely be noticed if it wasn’t.

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