The coffee machine was set up in 1991 so that researchers at the Computer Laboratory, the University of Cambridge, England could know there was coffee in the machine before they traveled through the seven floor building to the one coffee machine in the department. It was originally broadcast across the network, and viewed with an application called xcoffee. Since 1993, when it became the world's first webcam, it has attracted around 2.4 million visitors worldwide. In March 2001 it was announced the coffee machine camera would be no more, since the laboratory was moving to a new building. The camera was finally switched off at 0954 UTC on Wednesday 22nd August 2001. One of the coffee pots, which starred on the web from October 1997 until March 2001, was auctioned on eBay, and fetched £3,350.
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