The NextGen PC Design Competition is a competition set up by Microsoft to allow people to design their idea of the next generation computer. “Influence tomorrow’s digital lifestyle with your vision of the Next-Gen PC. Change the way people pursue their passions by designing the ultimate Next-Gen Windows-based PC. Give them everything they need to do what they love, easily, powerfully, and enjoyably. Introduce the Next-Gen PC. It’s your design.”The winner is the Napkin PC. As the contest entry details explain:
The Napkin PC aims to bring out the creative passion of the user both individually and in group sessions. It encourages spreading out and allows for multiple creative workflows that can interact or just as easily stay independent. It encourages group interaction and collaboration by allowing any number of interfaces that can be passed around or pinned up, but which all communicate with a central network.
The marketing speak makes my brain wobble, but the idea, I think, is that each napkin is a touch-sensitive display of some sort, building upon the concept of colour e-paper. I find the device rather cumbersome, but that’s usually the case with concept designs. It does look unique though, that’s for sure.
Many of the entries are, I must say, rather out of this world and impossible for me to grasp. Most of them have absolutely no resemblance with today’s computers, but in spite of that, a browse through the list shows some innovative approaches to computing.
And that’s what we all want. Innovation. No matter how out-of-this-world, the computing world could use some true innovation. I take my hat off to all the people who took the time to design these freakish devices. Certainly worth a look.