Design Of Everyday Things
#12 Brilliance of Everyday Objects
Problem: Coffee less trips to break room
Solution: Let’s keep a track of the coffee levels from where we are sitting
The year was 1991, and the computer science faculty at Cambridge University was tired of walking all the way to the breakroom only to find an empty coffee pot.
So, what did those Cambridge computer whizzes do? Set up a rotating schedule to assign coffee-making duties? Brew a new pot anytime they saw the machine was empty? Focus on bigger problems?
Nope, nope, and nope. They invented the frickin’ webcam.
The group of caffeine-jonesing faculty put their heads together and designed a camera that would transmit a 129×129-pixel image, in black and white, of the coffee mach… Continue Reading