Trivia

Hard

What Did The First Webcam Monitor?

Pandas
Yankee Stadium
A Coffee Pot
The Weather at MIT
A picture of the Trojan Room coffee pot, displayed in the XCoffee viewer.
Quentin Stafford-Fraser/Wikimedia

Answer: A Coffee Pot

The first webcam, like many inventions, was built to save time. Back in the 1990s, the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge had a rather inconveniently located break room, known to faculty and students as the Trojan Room. In 1991, Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Paul Jardetzky collaborated to put an end to the frustration of trudging across the entire building to the Trojan Room only to find out that the coffee pot was empty. Using the X-Window System protocol, they wrote a client/server model that broadcast a simple low-resolution video feed of the coffee pot over the local network.

Two years later in 1993 when early web browsers adopted in-line image display, the camera setup received an upgrade. Daniel Gordon and Martyn Johnson connected the camera via streaming server to the Internet; it began serving up live shots of the coffee pot at the rate of one frame per second. Although checking to see if a pot of coffee was full or not might seem like a trivial thing to modern media-saturated Internet users, the Cambridge coffee pot was one of the most visited websites on the early Internet.

The coffee-cam remained online from 1993 until 2001 when the computer department moved to new facilities.

Trivia

Hard

The Only Film Where Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny Appear Onscreen Together Is?

Trivia

Easy

What Is The Most Popular Successor To The Ubiquitous Bar Code?

Trivia

Hard

What Geeky Treat Outlasted The Show It Was Promoting By Over A Decade?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Actor Who Appears In Both The Star Trek Pilot And First Aired Episode Is?

Trivia

Easy

Which Common Vegetable Was Originally A Deep Purple Color?

Trivia

Easy

Which Laboratory Boasts The Most Nobel Prize Winners?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Company Did Google Almost Sell Out To For Less Than A Million Dollars?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The Last Super Nintendo Game Released in North America?

Trivia

Hard

In Which Country Are The Majority Of Adoptees Adults At The Time Of Adoption?

Trivia

Hard

The Loudest Frog In The World Is The?