The webcam was invented just because 3 people wanted to keep a check on coffee level without walking to their breakroom.

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