Maintaining hardware is often just a part of modern life. Complex machines have a way of breaking down in unexpected ways. And when someone depends on those machines it’s important to make sure that’s kept to a minimum. It’s always best to discover hardware issues before an important event rather than during it. But many people aren’t sure how to test their hardware. Thankfully, it’s often easier than one might expect. And a webcam test can even be done through a web browser.
Webcam testing usually begins with someone asking how to test my webcam. It’s a common question, but one with a slightly complex answer. The biggest issue is that people often mean very different things when they’re talking about how to test webcam capabilities.
It’s important to first define what the test needs to accomplish. A standard web cam test will focus on real-world performance. This is very different than opening up the camera and examining the hardware directly. However, it’s equally important for people to understand why these real-world performance tests are so important.
Technology has come quite a long way over the years. There was a point where things were fragile enough so that there were really only two states a device could be in. The machine would either be totally broken or totally fine. Even the general wear and tear of moderate usage would often be enough to break delicate components.
Modern consumer grade electronics are far more resilient. They’re often able to compensate for a lot of the daily wear and tear they might encounter. For the most part, this is the ideal situation. A device that’s working with 95% efficiency is almost always going to be far better than one which won’t work at all.
The one problem here is that sometimes people really do require a device to work at full capacity. Additionally, it’s important to know exactly what state a device is in. When performance begins to fall it’s usually a slow buildup to failure. Noticing minor degradation in performance gives people a chance to replace the ailing hardware before it becomes a problem.
The testing phase
With all that in mind, one can begin to look at the actual testing phase. It’s generally a fairly simple process of loading up a website which contains an embedded web app. The fact that it’s an online testing system is also an important part of the process. A web cam will be best tested by a web app. This also highlights the importance of running tests with real-world situations.
When the app first loads up the browser should ask for permission to access the webcam. This in itself can be seen as a test of sorts. An app should always have to ask for permission to access the camera. If it doesn’t prompt at least once then there might be an issue with the operating system’s hardware drivers for the webcam.
But once permission has been granted to the app one should see some real-world testing. This will usually take the form of a live video feed from the camera. It will also display data relating to the video feed. For example, the test will usually inform users about how many frames per second the camera is capturing. This information should be enough to determine the webcam’s performance level.
Test my camera
One should also be aware that someone asking to test my cam could be talking about other devices. A webcam is the most commonly used video capture device for personal use. But smartphones are in a close second place.
A camera test on smartphones will be fairly similar to a webcam test. One will even load up the same webapp to do the testing. Likewise, the results of the test should be similar to what’s found with webcams.