Webcams are mini-video cameras that are used to send images or continuous frames to a computer screen. Thats the somewhat technical explanation. Whats more interesting is "why" people own them. There are many reasons: Theyre great for videocalling, videoconferencing, Xbox Live gaming, monitoring your home/office, and even spying on your pet (or nanny or…). (Hey, dont you ever wonder what they do all day long?) Webcams are often available as optional computer accessories, and were now seeing them integrated into LCD monitors, like the ViewSonic VX2255wmb, and notebooks, such as Dells Inspiron 1420.
Over the past several years, weve tested a bunch of webcams that offer fun video effects, Skype support, and face tracking capabilities. However, we began to notice a pattern: all of them looked the same! Sure, theyre supposed to resemble small video cameras; but cant manufacturers be more creative? So, of course, we went in search of webcams that really stand out. The devices we gathered dont actually look like webcams at all. Here youll find a plush panda, Garfield, and much more.
Here are a couple of the products youll find in todays 10 Weirdest Webcams slideshow:
USB Panda Web Cam
Pandas are so cute and cuddly, arent they? Apparently, they also make good webcams. The USB Panda Web Cam is a plush Web camera that features a rotating lens, auto exposure and white balance, and a 350K CMOS sensor. It fully supports USB 1.0 and 2.0 and works with ICQ, MSN, Skype, and other services. Adopt a panda webcam today for $24 at USB Brando.
USB Rubber Man Web Cam
Its a bird! Its a plane! No, its Rubber Man! The USB Rubber Man Web Cam from USBGeek.com doesnt possess any super powers; rather, it can rotate its head, adjust to any angle, and provides videoconferencing on MSN, Skype, and other services. With a 480K pixel CMOS sensor, it sells for $19.