Video calling support has also been added to several popular instant messaging programs. Software is available to allow PC-connected cameras to watch for movement and sound, a computer e-mailed images of the burglar during the theft of the computer, enabling the owner to give police a clear picture of the burglar's face even after the computer had been stolen.

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In December 2011, Russia announced that 290,000 Webcams would be installed in 90,000 polling stations to monitor the Russian presidential election, 2012.

Webcams can be used to take video clips and still pictures.

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.

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.

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.

Webcam can be added to instant messaging, text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, and Vo IP services such as Skype, one-to-one live video communication over the Internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide.