Webcams are good for conversations, but they don’t offer either conversant any control over the field of view. To remedy this glaring oversight, I built a pan/tilt base for my webcam out of LEGO bricks. The person I was talking to on the other end could log into a webpage and press buttons to move the camera up/down or left/right!
The client webpage had a simple java applet on it that sent commands back to a server I hosted on my computer. This was built on top of my Jackal software, which lets you remotely program a cricket or LEGO Mindstorms attached to a computer.