Recently I've been looking into the getUserMedia/Stream API which allows Javascript direct access to a users webcam. I decided to throw together a small jQuery plugin which will allow you to stream the webcam into an element of your choosing.

You can view it on Github

View the demo here

At the time of writing only Chrome 21+, Opera 12 and Opera Mobile 12+ support this (view browser support).

You can also stream the webcam to a canvas and access the raw data to create some really awesome effects. I'll make a blog post on how to do that using the plugin soon!

Checkout some of the other awesome demos out there, especially WebCam Toy.

If you want to find out more about getUserMedia and applying effects checkout this recent article from the Chromium blog: "Introducing getUserMedia and the Javascript Gamepad API"