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Chapter 15. Webcams > How Webcams Work

How Webcams Work

A Webcam is nothing more than a simple digital camera, attached to your computer. The camera connects to your PC, typically via the USB or FireWire port, and feeds images into a special Webcam software program. This program is configured to periodically grab single frames from the camera, and saves the pictures as JPG graphic files. The individual JPG files are then fed to a Web server, which then embeds the pictures into a constantly refreshing Web page. (The embedding and refreshing is typically controlled via an HTML meta tag, JavaScript, or a Java applet.) This entire process is shown in Figure 15.4.

Figure 15.4. From camera to browser—how a Webcam works.



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