WEBCAM(How to identify your CIF single chip web cam, and then find its driver!)
A webcam is a video camera which feeds its images in real time to a computer or computer network, often via USB, ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Their most popular use is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations. This common use as a camera for the world wide web gives the webcam its name. Other popular uses include security surveillance andcomputer vision.
Webcams are known for their low manufacturing costs and flexibility, making them the lowest cost form of videotelephony. They have also become the source of security and privacy issues, as some inbuilt webcams can be remotely activated via spyware.
First employed in 1991, a webcam was pointed at the Trojan Room coffee pot in the Cambridge UniversityComputer Science Department. The camera was finally switched off on August 22, 2001. The final image captured by the camera can still be viewed at its homepage. The oldest webcam still operating is FogCam at San Francisco State University, which has been running continuously since 1994.
One of the most widely reported-on webcam sites was JenniCam, started in 1996, which allowed Internet users to observe the life of its namesake constantly, somewhat like reality TV series Big Brother, launched three years later. More recently, the website Justin.tv has shown a continuous video and audio stream from a mobile camera mounted on the head of the site’s star. Other cameras are mounted at bridges, public squares, and other public places, their output made available on a public Web page in accordance with the original concept of a “webcam”. Aggregator websites have arisen, providing thousands of live video streams or up-to-date still pictures, allowing users to find live video streams based on location or other criteria.
Around the turn of the 21st century, computer hardware manufacturers began building webcams directly intolaptop and desktop screens, thus eliminating the need to use an external USB or Firewire camera. Gradually webcams came to be used more for communication between two people, or among a few people, than for offering a view on a Web page to an unknown public.
The term ‘webcam’ may also be used in its original sense of a video camera connected to the Web continuously for an indefinite time, rather than for a particular session, generally supplying a view for anyone who visits its web page over the Internet. Some of them, for example those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, ruggedprofessional video cameras.
Video calling and conferencing
As webcam capabilities have been added to instant messaging, text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, and VoIP services such as Skype, one-to-one live video communication over the Internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide. Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems. New features such as automatic lighting controls, real-time enhancements (retouching, wrinkle smoothing and vertical stretch), automatic face tracking and autofocus assist users by providing substantial ease-of-use, further increasing the popularity of webcams.
Webcam features and performance can vary by program, computer operating system, and also by the computer’s processor capabilities. For example, ‘high-quality video’ is principally available to users of certain Logitech webcams if their computers have dual-core processors meeting certain specifications. Video calling support has also been added to several popular instant messaging programs.
Webcams are also used as security cameras. Software is available to allow PC-connected cameras to watch for movement and sound, recording both when they are detected; these recordings can then be saved to the computer, e-mailed or uploaded to the Internet. In one well-publicised case, a computer e-mailed out images as the burglar stole it, allowing the owner to give police a clear picture of the burglar’s face even after the computer had been stolen.
Video clips and stills
Webcams can be used to take video and still pictures. Various software tools in wide use can be employed for this, such as PicMaster under Windows, Photo Booth on a Mac, or Cheese under Unix.
Input control device
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 allow hands-free computing and would greatly improvecomputer accessibility. This can also be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.
FreeTrack is a free webcam motion tracking application for Microsoft Windows that can track a special head mounted model in up to six degrees of freedom and output data to mouse, keyboard, joystick and FreeTrack supported games 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. TrackIR is a commercial version of this technology.
The EyeToy for the PlayStation 2 (The updated PlayStation 3 equivalent is the PlayStation Eye) and similarly the Xbox Live Vision Camera and the Kinect AKA ‘Project Natal’ for the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live are color digital cameras that have been used as control input devices by some games.
Small webcam-based PC games are available as either standalone executables or inside web browser windows using Adobe Flash.
Webcams typically include a lens, an image sensor, and some support electronics. Various lenses are available, the most common in consumer-grade webcams being a plastic lens that can be screwed in and out to set the camera’s focus. Fixed focus lenses, which have no provision for adjustment, are also available. As a camera system’s depth of field is greater for small imager formats and is greater for lenses with a large f-number (small aperture), the systems used in webcams have sufficiently large depth of field that the use of a fixed focus lens does not impact image sharpness much. Image sensors can be CMOS or CCD, the former being dominant for low-cost cameras, but CCD cameras do not necessarily outperform CMOS-based cameras in the low cost price range. Most consumer webcams are capable of providing VGA-resolution video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Many newer devices can produce video in multi-megapixel resolutions, and a few can run at high frame rates such as the PlayStation Eye, which can produce 320×240 video at 120 frames per second.
Support electronics are present to read the image from the sensor and transmit it to the host computer. The camera pictured to the right, for example, uses a Sonix SN9C101 to transmit its image overUSB. Some cameras, such as mobile phone cameras, use a CMOS sensor with supporting electronics “on die”, i.e. the sensor and the support electronics are built on a single silicon chip to save space and manufacturing costs. Most webcams feature built-inmicrophones to make video calling and videoconferencing more convenient.
The USB video device class (UVC) specification allows for interconnectivity of webcams to computers even without proprietary drivers installed. Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Linux and Mac OS X(since October 2005) have UVC drivers built in and do not require extra drivers, although they are often installed in order to add additional features.
Many users do not wish the continuous exposure for which webcams were originally intended, but rather prefer privacy. Such privacy is lost when Trojan horse programs allow malicious hackers to activate a camera without the user’s knowledge, providing the hackers with a live video and audio feed. Cameras such as Apple’s older external iSight cameras include lens covers to thwart this. Some webcams have built-in hardwired LEDindicators that lights up whenever the camera is active.
In mid-January 2005, some search engine queries were published in an on-line forum which allow anyone to find thousands of Panasonic- and Axis-made high-end web cameras, provided that they have a web-based interface for remote viewing. Many such cameras are running on default configuration, which does not require any passwordlogin or IP address verification, making them visible to anyone.
Some laptop computers have built in webcams which present both privacy and security issues, as such cameras cannot normally be physically disabled if hijacked by a Trojan Horse program or other similar spyware programs. In the 2010 Robbins v. Lower Merion School District “WebcamGate” case, plaintiffs charged that two suburban Philadelphia high schools secretly spied on students—by surreptitiously remotely activating iSight webcams embedded in school-issued MacBook laptops the students were using at home—and thereby infringed on their privacy rights. School authorities admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 photographs, including shots of students in the privacy of their bedrooms, including some with teenagers in various state of undress. The school board involved quickly disabled their laptop spyware program after parents filed lawsuits against the board and various individuals.
Effects on modern society
Webcams allow for inexpensive, real-time video chat and webcasting, in both amateur and professional pursuits. They are frequently used in online dating. YouTube is a popular website hosting many videos made using webcams. News websites such as the BBC can also produce professional live news videos.
Webcams encourage the phenomenon of telecommuting, where people work from home over the internet, rather than having to travel to their office.
On March 23, 2007, a man named Kevin Whitrick committed suicide live on the internet in front of viewers in a chat room website.
Sign language communications via webcam
- Main articles: Video Relay Service, a telecommunication service for deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired (mute) individuals communicating with hearing persons at a different location, and Video Remote Interpreting, used where deaf/hard-of-hearing/mute persons are in the same location as their hearing parties
One of the first demonstrations of the ability for telecommunicationsto help sign language users communicate with each other occurred when AT&T’s videophone (trademarked as the ‘Picturephone’) was introduced to the public at the 1964 New York World’s Fair –two deaf users were able to freely communicate with each other between the fair and another city. Various other organizations, including British Telecom’s Martlesham facility and several universities have also conducted extensive research on signing via videotelephony. The use of sign language via videotelephony was hampered for many years due to the difficulty of using it over regular analogue phone lines coupled with the high cost of better quality data phone lines,factors which largely disappeared with the advent of high-speed ISDN and IP Internet services in the last decade of the 20th Century.
21st Century improvements
Significant improvements in video call quality of service for the deaf occurred in the United States in 2003 when Sorenson Media Inc. (formerly Sorenson Vision Inc.), a video compression software coding company, developed its VP-100 model stand-alone videophone specifically for the deaf community. It was designed to output its video to the user’s television in order to lower the cost of acquisition, and to offer remote control and a powerful video compression codec for unequaled video quality and ease of use with video relay services. Favourable reviews quickly led to its popular usage at educational facilities for the deaf, and from there to the greater deaf community.
Coupled with similar high-quality videophones introduced by other electronics manufacturers, the availability of high speed Internet, and sponsored video relay services authorized by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in 2002, VRS services for the deaf underwent rapid growth in that country.
Present day usage
Using such video equipment in the present day, the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired can communicate between themselves and with hearing individuals using sign language. The United States and several other countries compensate companies to provide ‘Video Relay Services’ (VRS). Telecommunication equipment can be used to talk to others via a sign language interpreter, who uses a conventional telephone at the same time to communicate with the deaf person’s party. Video equipment is also used to do on-site sign language translation via Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). The relative low cost and widespread availability of 3G mobile phonetechnology with video calling capabilities have given deaf and speech-impaired users a greater ability to communicate with the same ease as others. Some wireless operators have even started free sign language gateways.
Sign language interpretation services via VRS or by VRI are useful in the present-day where one of the parties is deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired (mute). In such cases the interpretation flow is normally within the same principal language, such as French Sign Language (FSL) to spoken French, Spanish Sign Language (SSL) to spoken Spanish, British Sign Language (BSL) to spoken English, and American Sign Language (ASL) also to spoken English (since BSL and ASL are completely distinct), and so on.
Multilingual sign language interpreters, who can also translate as well across principal languages (such as to and from SSL, to and from spoken English), are also available, albeit less frequently. Such activities involve considerable effort on the part of the translator, since sign languages are distinct natural languages with their own construction, semantics and syntax, different from the aural version of the same principal language.
With video interpreting, sign language interpreters work remotely with live video and audio feeds, so that the interpreter can see the deaf or mute party, and converse with the hearing party, and vice versa. Much like telephone interpreting, video interpreting can be used for situations in which no on-site interpreters are available. However, video interpreting cannot be used for situations in which all parties are speaking via telephone alone. VRI and VRS interpretation requires all parties to have the necessary equipment. Some advanced equipment enables interpreters to remotely control the video camera, in order to zoom in and out or to point the camera toward the party that is signing.
- Further information: Sign Language and Sign language interpreting
Videotelephony descriptive names & terminology
Videophone calls (also: ‘videocalls’ and ‘video chat’), differ from videoconferencing in that they expect to serve individuals, not groups. However that distinction has becoming increasingly blurred with technology improvements such as increased bandwidth and sophisticated software clients that can allow for multiple parties on a call. In general everyday usage the term videoconferencing is now frequently used instead of videocall for point-to-point calls between two units. Both videophone calls and videoconferencing are also now commonly referred to as a ‘video link’.
Webcams are popular, relatively low cost devices which can provide live video and audio streams via personal computers, and can be used with many software clients for both video calls and videoconferencing.
A videoconference system is generally higher cost than a videophone and deploys greater capabilities. Avideoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) allows two or more locations to communicate via live, simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. This is often accomplished by the use of a multipoint control unit (a centralized distribution and call management system) or by a similar non-centralized multipoint capability embedded in each videoconferencing unit. Again, technology improvements have circumvented traditional definitions by allowing multiple party videoconferencing via web-based applications. A separate webpage article is devoted to videoconferencing.
A telepresence system is a high-end videoconferencing system and service usually employed by enterprise-levelcorporate offices. Telepresence conference rooms use state-of-the art room designs, video cameras, displays, sound-systems and processors, coupled with high-to-very-high capacity bandwidth transmissions.
Typical uses of the various technologies described above include videocalling or videoconferencing on a one-to-one, one-to-many or many-to-many basis for personal, business, educational, deaf Video Relay Service and tele-medical, diagnostic and rehabilitative use or services. New services utilizing videocalling and videoconferencing, such as personal videocalls to inmates incarcerated in penitentiaries, and videoconferencing to resolve airline engineering issues at maintenance facilities, are being created or evolving on an on-going basis.
|Many Web Cam Driver is software for video splitting. Another words Many Web Cam Driver is some kind of video splitter or cam splitter. Have you ever needed to split video source (like web cam) to different applications at the same time? With native Windows video options you are not able to multiply video. Many Web Cam Driver allows easily multiply video source in video chat or video conference software like Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Skype Video, MSN Messenger, Camfrog, Pal Talk, AOL AIM, etc. and broadcast it. Multiply cam provides a lot of useful features for video splitting and other purposes that can’t leave you cold.
Actually Many Web Cam Driver is split video capture driver. All you have to do for video splitting is just install the Many Web Cam Driver on your computer, connect it to a video source (web camera, video camera, video file or image file), and connect other applications (video chat, video conference any messenger or video applications) to the Many Web Cam Driver virtual device. This cam splitter or cam multiplier looks like several separate video sources connected to your computer.
Many Web Cam Driver is known video splitting software that helps people to multiply video among different video applications. Many Web Cam Driver is one of the best video splitting software for now.
Do not hesitate. Just download Many Web Cam Driver and split video. Many Web Cam Driver is totally free.
Even if you’ve lost your web cam’s installation CD, all the product info, and have no clue “who the heck” even manufactured it you can still identify it! Actually, to phrase it more accurately, “you can simply let Windows identify it”!!!
Windows doesn’t require a device driver to detect device hardware or determine its Device Identification strings
Windows Device Identification strings may look cryptic (for example, USB\VID_093A&PID_2468\5&B114931&0&1) but these strings are fundamental to Windows Plug-and-Play and how Windows figures out which drivers work with what devices in the first place!
=> Will work for both XP and Vista based systems
=> Assumes your web cam connects via USB. If other then USB, the steps are still similar but the detail will be different
1. Connect your web cam
- Attach all power cords (e.g. laptop and/or web cam).
- Plug your USB cam directly into your computer (do not use any external USB hubs). Turn your cam on
- As long as your web cam and computer hardware are working, Windows should detect it!
2. Open Device Manager
- For Vista
=> Click Control Panel. If you have Control Panel Classic View, click Device Manager
=> Click Control Panel. If you have Control Panel Home View, click System and Maintenance->Device Manager
- For XP
=> Click Control Panel->System, then Hardware tab, then Device Manager button
3. Find your web cam in Device Manager
- Understanding Device Names
=> Windows provides user-friendly device names to accomodate us humans. As far as Windows is concerned, the device name is simply a comment!
=> It’s those cryptic Device Identification strings that really identify a device
=> Device Manager displays whatever device name it happens to find in the device driver
…==> If Windows finds NO device driver, your web cam may be named “Unknown” or “Other” device
…==> If Windows finds the WRONG device driver you may see your web cam with the WRONG device name
- How to find your web cam
=> While your web cam is connected, look through all of Device Manager for devices with a yellow icon (probably a yellow question mark)
=> Be certain to expand the USB category to check all devices listed under it. Also, be sure to also check if category Other Devicesappears in Device Manager and look under it as well
=> Your web cam will appear as a device with a yellow icon (probably a question mark)
=> Click on thumbnail to see the full sized image
- How to verify the device you found is your web cam
=> Your web cam device will only appear in Device Manager when the web cam is powered on and connected
=> Disconnect your web cam. Verify the device you had found is no longer displayed in Device Manager
4. Find your web cam’s Hardware Ids
- In Device Manager, select your web cam device, rt click Properties. Click Details tab
- Select Hardware Ids from the pull-down. You’ll see a list of one or more Hardware Id strings
5. Search for a driver based on Hardware Id
> Update 1/26/2011: To avoid a common mistake, don’t confuse the number zero with the letter “O”. IDs may contain zero but NOT the letter “O”
The best driver will match the Hardware Id at the top of the list. The next best driver match will match the next Hardware Id on the list, etc
- Start by searching for the Id at the top of the Hardware Id list
- If only due to how different search engines work, recommend you cut USB\ from the search string
=> Example: If the Hardware Id is USB\VID_093A&PID_2468&REV_0001 search for VID_093A&PID_2468&REV_0001
- You can start by clicking Search at the top of your TechSpot window to search TechSpot first
- For more help on how to search for a driver using the webcam’s Hardware IDs see this post
Two final notes:
1) If you should find your driver elsewhere please update our “CIF Single Chip driver for webcam“ thread and post your Hardware Id and the matching driver file info so others might also benefit on their next Search
2) as fyi…Vista let’s you easily copy/paste your Hardware Ids. XP does not. However, you can use a handy tool called SysExporter – To grab text data from a window when Windows doesn’t let you
Two More Notes! (added 1/4/10)
- Vista and Windows 7 drivers
- Vista and Windows 7 impose new requirements on device drivers that XP did not (e.g. they must be “digitally signed”)
- Vendors of webcams that work in XP didn’t always invest the time/$$ to create Vista (let alone Win 7) drivers for their product
- If you have an older webcam, it’s possible you may only find drivers for XP. Not Vista or Windows 7
- Getting free drivers from Driver Guide
If your search happens to take you to the Driver Guide website, you can download the driver for free (you don’t need to become a member)
> Click the Download tab
> Choose option: Download this file by viewing a series of ads then click Continue
> For each ad, just click the No Thanks link (it will appear in lower right corner of each ad) to get to the download