Redmond (WA) - Napkin sketches on lunch tables have given industrial design student Avery Holleman the idea to come up with a Napkin PC concept - a system that focuses on collaboration and data sharing within its own network. The idea has won this year’s Microsoft Next-Gen PC Design Competition and $20,000 in prize money.
Most of us are very familiar with the concept of napkin sketches and in a way, it is actually somewhat surprising no one has ever thought about a computer that takes advantage of this usage scenario. Avery Holleman has and developed a PC design that, at least in our opinion, could make a very useful tool on conference tables.
The Napkin PC design closely resembles a Napkin holder, combining multiple touchscreen devices within a collaborative network. Digital pens allow users to draw on these touchscreens just like they would on a napkin.
"I had an idea about a system where the user would be able to interact with any number of interfaces connected to the same network, Holleman said. "I felt I had good ideas. But they needed a package."
While contemplating a square he’d drawn out as the display for his device, the form it should take suddenly took shape before his eyes. "I realized it looked like a napkin."
The idea struck a chord with the judges of the competition and apparently with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, which landed Holleman the first prize as well as the Chairman’s Award and $20,000 in cash.
The second prize and $5000 went to the Withus drawing pad, the third prize and Public Choice Award to the Backpacker’s Diary, which is imagined to be a digital book for travelers, with different pages that offer different functions such as media recording, solar recharging and electric light illuminant.