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Inventor of modern laptop computer Bill Moggridge passes away

Inventor of modern laptop computer Bill Moggridge passes away

THE death has taken place of Bill Moggridge who is credited with inventing the modern laptop computer. He was 69.

Mr. Moggridge had been born in Britain but had lived and worked for many years in the United States.

He was an industrial designer whose work had an impact across the world.

It was his design for the Grid Compass, which enclosed a computer and screen within a case which opened up in the way that any user of the modern laptop will instantly recognise.

Until Mr. Moggridge came up with his design, computers were much larger and far from being regarded as portable.

The Grid Compass featured an Intel 8086 processor with 340kb of memory and cost around $8,000 (£5,000). The computer was immediately taken up by the U.S. military and also found favour with NASA who used it on board the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985.

Nearly every laptop since has used some element of the original design unveiled by Mr. Moggridge.

He went on to co-found the design consultancy firm Ideo in 1991 and in recent times had been director of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Over the years he had held a number of prestigious posts in academia, including as visiting professor in interaction design at London’s Royal College of Art and associate professor in design at Stanford University. He also published a number of books on design.

Mr. Moggridge was awarded the Prince Philip Designer’s Prize in 2010 and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award the previous year at the National Design Awards.

He passed away in San Francisco after being ill with cancer.

To view an interview in which Bill Moggridge discusses his life, click here.


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