In the beginning of the nineties, computer scientists at the University of Cambridge liked to regularly drink coffee while they worked on their research. However, there was only one coffee machine within the department which was in the main computer laboratory. This meant that the scientists and researchers that worked in labs on different floor had to travel to get a cup of coffee, often being disappointed when the pot was empty. Due to this, they didn’t want to make the trip to be disappointed.
That’s why in 1991, Dr Stafford-Fraser and Dr Paul Jadetzky set up a camera in the main laboratory, to watch the coffee pot. They also wrote software to let the scientists and researchers have the images from the camera on their internal computer network. The camera would only grab the images three times in a minute, but this allowed them to find out if there was coffee without making the trip and not becoming disappointed.
In November 1993, the camera’s feed of the coffee pot was put into the internet to allow other researchers to view the amount of coffee in the pot, even if they didn’t have the software. The internet camera feed ran for 10 years before being taken off the internet.