By removing the IR filter of the webcam, IR LEDs can be used, which has the advantage of being invisible to the naked eye, removing a distraction from the user.Track IR is a commercial version of this technology.Webcam features and performance can vary by program, computer operating system, and also by the computer's processor capabilities.
Webcams can be used to take video clips and still pictures.
Various software tools in wide use can be employed for this, such as Pic Master (for use with Windows operating systems), Photo Booth (Mac), or Cheese (with Unix systems).
Unauthorized access of webcams can present significant privacy issues (see "Privacy" section below).
In December 2011, Russia announced that 290,000 Webcams would be installed in 90,000 polling stations to monitor the Russian presidential election, 2012.
Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems.