Industrial designers have been competing for the Microsoft-sponsored Next-Gen PC Design Competition. Inspiration for the award-winning design separates the interface from the PC. And it looks like a napkin holder.

In popular imagination, the humble napkin is, of course, much more than an absorbent piece of tissue for dabbing one’s mouth between the main courses of a restaurant meal. It’s an impromptu idea pad for sketching out business plans, design blueprints and other creative endeavors over strategic dinnertime conversations. Holleman knew he was onto something that would resonate widely with creative professionals.

Avery Holleman of California State University at Long Beach won first place for their napkin PC. Taeho Wang and Minjoong Kim of Illinios Institutite of Technology took second with their design to enhance social development of preschool children. Zhongren Zang of University of Illinois at Urgana-Champaign, and Chun Yang, Nanjing University of Science and Technology in China took third for their backpack packer's diary design.

For other entries, see Innovation Fuels Passion in Next-Gen PC Design Competition.