Napkin PC Wins Microsoft's PC Design Competition


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.

  • royalcrown
    Or just use napkins...I get my napkins with 10 base t at Sam's club.
  • pocketdrummer
    One trick pony much? This is not the future of computing.

    not impressed.
  • Why can't they hold a competition where people have to design things that are actually possible?
  • castagnolac
    This should have won the "least practical" award. The reason so many good ideas are drawn up on napkins is because they are a ubiquitous item you can draw on - i.e easy to get wherever you happen to be. If I have to have this computer "just lying around" to draw out my ideas, why not just have a tablet pc "just lying around"?
    Both the 2nd and 3rd prize winners were in reality much better than this useless gag item.
  • i happen to really like this idea and think it will do great once the bugs and the price is worked out