The history of Internet of Things – How a Coke Machine became the first famous IOT


The first famous example of a Thing connected to Internet

Even thought Internet of Things (IOT) is an expression that man on the street are only now beginning to hear about, it is in fact an expression that has been around for quit some time. It all started back in the early 80’s with a certain beverage machine, a machine that sparked the discussion of IOT.


The Carnegie Mellon Coke Machine

At the Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, US, was an Coke machine that could keep track on how many bottles was left and that could measure and report whether or not drinks were cold. The programmers at the university had installed micro-switches in the machine and written a server program that could keep track on how long time each single bottle had been in the machine and the students could therefore know if the coke had been there long enough to be cold or not.


A machine connected to the Internet

But what made this machine remarkable and the reason why so many people consider it to be one of the first Internet of Things, is that the machine was also connected to the internet.
From any computer connected to the internet you could get all the information about the Coke, meaning not only computers in the school but basically anywhere in the world where you had a computer connected to the internet.
For the students this made sense, of course, since they didn’t have to walk all the way to the machine just to realize that it was empty or that you had to wait for a while if you wanted a cold coke. For people outside the school, well, maybe not so useful but still probably was a cool experience and a premonition of what the future might hold.


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