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What is this?

Black rectangular housing, hinged at top center to open, clamshell-style, revealing a screen and keyboard.

This object is full of stories

Bill Moggridge designed what many consider the first personal laptop, first defined as a computer small enough to travel within a briefcase. The GRiD Compass featured many design innovations that contemporary models still have: a clamshell hinge, a flat screen, and recessed keyboard. Moggridge recognized the importance of how the user interacted with both the machine’s hardware and software. This concept still guides work done at the international design firm IDEO where Moggridge was a co-founder.

This is a laptop computer prototype from United States. It is dated 1981 and we acquired it in 2010. Gift of Bill Moggridge.

Its medium is

die-cast magnesium, injection-molded plastic

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 25.4 x 29.2 x 37.9 cm (10 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 14 15/16 in.)

We have 1 video that features Laptop Computer Prototype, "GRiD Compass", 1981.

Bill Moggridge on Interaction Design

Bill Moggridge, industrial designer and co-founder of IDEO, talks about the advent of interaction design.

This object was design team member: Glenn Edens and Stephen Hobson and firm: ID Two and manufactured by GRiD Systems Corp. and designed by Bill Moggridge

This object was donated by Bill Moggridge

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18732295 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Laptop Computer Prototype, "GRiD Compass", 1981 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 December 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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