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I'd like pointers/suggestions to any interesting applications that have been created for a laptop web cam beyond self recording and video chat.

Specifically, I'd like setups that are ready to go rather than ideas for software that might developed in the future.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can use your webcam to log into your machine. I haven't tried it, and it may not be that useful, but it sounds like it falls into the interesting category. Instructions are here:

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Cheese Install cheese

Cheese uses your webcam to take photos and videos, applies fancy special effects and lets you share the fun with others. It's a photo booth like application written for GNOME and is loads of fun!

sudo apt-get install cheese


alt text

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The most interesting use of Webcams with close source and with no GNU/Linux driver is forcing people to write drivers for them. If to be frank, not all of us were forced to do so thanks to the heroic effort of our beloved friend Michel Xhaard from France who -by the year 2007- wrote drivers for 235 of them.

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If we're considering writing drivers more interesting than actually using said drivers, I think we've lost some perspective. That being said, this guy is awesome. – Matthew Pirocchi Oct 20 '10 at 16:27

there are countless ways to make a security system... such as this

or at one time I even had my computer set up so when it detected MY face it would auto login for me... but that was years ago and I don't remember how I did it...

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I saw an interesting article where a group bypassed a few of the commercially available face-detection systems using flat photographs which they wobbled to simulate movement. I think it was a Black Hat talk. – Jeremy Oct 19 '10 at 8:15

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Perhaps you could write a few lines summarizing what this link is about? – Riccardo Murri Oct 19 '10 at 9:00
He recently turned his work into a mobile app and was featured on CNN: – Matthew Dutton Apr 25 '11 at 1:24

Augmented Reality

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Another interesting use can be creating a Photostory as described here:

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