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WATCH: The oldest operating livestreaming webcam on earth will soon shut down (just kidding)

FogCam! is saved



Following the extensive news coverage about the planned ending of FogCam, San Francisco State University has asked to preserve and run it indefinitely. Official Statement: San Francisco State University can confirm it has agreed to continue maintaining the FogCam, which prevents shutdown of the service. San Francisco State University has supported operation of the FogCam since its inception in 1994, a major technology milestone at the time. The University looks forward to continuing the webcam’s legacy.

Do all webcams eventually overstay their welcome?

After 25 years of near-continuous operation, FogCam! will shut down at the end of August. Jeff Schwartz and Dan Wong set up the webcam while students at San Francisco State University back in 1994, and announced the decision via Twitter, with a hearty thank you.

Why? The end user lost the love.  “The university tolerates us, but they don’t really endorse us,” Schwarz admits.

Here’s our farewell tribute:

FogCam!’s 25-year run has meant that it outlasted another of the web’s earliest webcams. Cambridge University’s coffee pot cam came online a year earlier in 1993, as a way for one scientist who worked at the university to check the status of a coffee pot remotely, without getting up. I relate. My laundry room has a MacGivered webcam so I can check if the load is finished without going downstairs.

What sunk the CoffeeCam was old code. So in that sense FogCam! was a technical marvel. It was just a ’90s Mac and a random camera from the student bookstore. It lived through the early internet, Web 2.0, and then became a social media darling. I wonder if I should put LaundryCam on social media?

Speaking of which, FogCam! creator Jeff Schwartz may also be the creator of cats on the Internet. In 1995, he set up a camera to monitor his beloved cats—Petunia and Web—while he was in class.


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