World's first laptop designer Bill Moggridge dies at age 69
British born designer Bill Moggridge, inventor of the first ever folding laptop, has died at the age of 69.
A life dedicated to design
Though born in England, Bill, like countless other designers, forged his career in the US. In 1979 he designed the GRID compass, an early model of computer that possessed 340 kilobytes of internal “bubble” memory and a hinge connected keyboard. The machine’s modest and lightweight frame made it particularly popular both with the armed forces and NASA, (who used it aboard their Space Shuttles throughout the 1980’s.) Despite the fact that the GRID computer was fairly expensive, and thus financially inaccessible to a great majority of the consumer market, its basic “clamshell” design was adopted and modified by countless subsequent manufacturers.
Moggridge studied at the Central School of Design in London, moving in 1969 to open his own business on the top floor of his London home. Ten years later, he opened a company called ID Two in California’s Silicon Valley. This decision proved serendipitous for Moddridge as a great number of companies in the area were moving from the manufacture of silicon chips to individual products. Within a few years, Moddridge found himself working intimately on a number of projects with Apple, Microsoft and GRID Systems.
In 1991, Moggridge merged his company with two others, creating Ideo, a design business with international reach.
William Grant Moggridge was born in London on 25th June, 1943. He is survived by his wife, Karin and their two sons.