Over the last six months or so, we have been keeping up with the entries in this year's Next-Gen PC Design competition, posting here and there on some of the unique ideas that came down the pipeline. Finally, Microsoft has announced the winners and, not surprisingly, there are a few familiar designs on the list. First place went to the Napkin PC, a concept that I mocked for being way too far out there. Nonetheless, Bill Gates must have like it, because he handpicked it as the winner of the $20,000 prize.
Second place went to a concept called WITHUS. The device is intended to "help preschool children shape the right values and human relationships by driving them into playing and learning with multi-human interactions." Children are encouraged to break away from traditional computing and make genuine connections with other human beings using an interactive, collaborative display.
Third place went to The Backpacker's Diary-a PC that focuses on travelers using a "book" with "pages" that offer different functions like GPS, media recording and solar charging.
Rounding out the list in the finalist category we find a number of familiar gadgets like the Alphagrip HC (which I thought was too ergonomic for its own good), Siafu (a computer for the blind that is made from a material that does not exist) and the Illusion PC (cool but not really next-gen). Hit the following link for the complete list. [Next-Gen PC via CNET]