Guys, can you tell, who is the designer of the first laptop computer? It’s Bill Moggridge, a British industrial designer, who designed an early portable computer. His designed computers were used in NASA’s space shuttle Discovery. But the sad news this British industrial designer, one of the prime innovators in laptop computing, has died at age 69 on September 8, 2012.
Bill Moggridge was born on June 25, 1943 in London, England. He designed the first laptop computer (not the first portable one) named the GRiD Compass with a keyboard and a 6-inch yellow-on-black display. The GRiD Compass featured an Intel 8086 processor, a 320 × 240 pixel electroluminescent display, a 340-kilobyte magnetic bubble memory, and a 1,200 bit/s modem. Hard drives and floppy drives were connected via the IEEE-488 I/O port (also known as the GPIB or General Purpose Instrumentation Bus). The US military initially started using this laptop, and later it was used in the space shuttle Discovery in 1985.
Bill founded Moggridge Associates in 1969, co-founded a design and innovation consulting firm IDEO in 1991, and became the director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York since 2010. Besides these, he taught Product Design Program and served as a consulting associate professor in the field of design at Stanford University from 1983 to 2010. He was also a visiting professor in interaction design at Royal College of Art in London in 1993.
Bill Moggridge also wrote his first book – Designing Interactions; which was published in October 2006, and consisted of 40 plus interviews with many designers and entrepreneurs including Douglas Engelbart, Will Wright, co-founder of Google Sergey Brin and Google’s current CEO Larry Page. Moggridge wrote another book named Designing Media, that featured interviews with thirty-seven people who have made significant creative contributions to the design and development of media, ranging from the publisher of the New York Times to the founder of Twitter.
Moggridge gained an honorary doctorate degree from CCA (California College of the Arts) in San Francisco in 2012, earned the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2010, achieved a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 at the National Design Awards.
Moggridge predicted that the laptop will “last forever,” alongside new technologies and devices such as the iPad. “It’s a form that is very practical … and it is very portable,” he said. “I can’t see the laptop ever being completely replaced.”
However, this British industrial designer had been suffering from cancer. After battling cancer, he breathed his last on Saturday, September 8, at an orphanage in San Francisco. He has left his 47-year-old wife and two sons.