The LapLift

I designed the LapLift® support platform in 1990, and fabricated the first version from ¼” plexiglas. Prior to that time, laptop clamshell cases had their keyboards located against the front edge of the case, which made typing awkward and uncomfortable. The LapLift® provided a wrist rest in front of the keyboard, and also tilted the laptop forward for better sightlines, greatly improving user ergonomics, and substantially reducing neck, wrist and shoulder strain. A patent was applied for, and LapLift® was granted (UTILITY) Patent #5209452 in April of 1993.

 

We setup a manufacturing line, and produced several thousand units for direct and OEM sales. A licensing deal with a major office accessory company was being negotiated, but fell through when they circumvented the patent, and brought a competing  product to market. The LapLift® was however, successfully licensed to Doug Mockett & Company.

 

In 1991, Apple’s Powerbook 100 introduced a new laptop case design, where the keyboard was moved back, and a wrist support area was included up front; over the next few years, this would become the defacto laptop configuration. Ultimately, although the LapLift® was still effective, and made it more comfortable to operate the trackballs or touchpads many manufacturers had added to their wrist rests, this major shift in laptop case design obsoleted the LapLift®, and it's been out of production for many years.