British inventor of first laptop computer Bill Moggridge dies

THE BRITISH inventor of the laptop computer, Bill Moggridge, has died aged 69 after a battle with cancer.

The industrial designer created the Grid Compass computer in 1979. It was the first device of its kind to marry a screen and a keyboard connected by a pair of hinges, a design which revolutionised the portable computer industry. The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, where Moggridge was a director, said he died on Saturday night.

His “computer in a briefcase” was much lighter and easier to carry than other portable computers at the time when it launched in 1982, and became popular with the US military, despite costing more than £5,000. More than two-thirds of the world’s personal computers sold today are laptops.

Moggridge was also an outspoken advocate of the importance of design in electronics.