Neil Hancock started writing and selling engineering software in BASIC for the Sharp PC-1500 pocket computer in Perth, Australia, in his late teens. During a visit to COMDEX in 1990 he came across the Microtouch touch screen display and got the idea to integrate a touch input device into a notebook computer. Using sensor chips and a touchpad developed for him by Microtouch he built prototypes of drop-in touch input modules for laptops from Sharp, Texas Instruments, and Acer. At COMDEX 1991 he displayed his touchpad-equipped laptops to great acclaim. But he realized that he could not set up a supply chain for large-scale manufacturing of the devices in Perth, Australia, and decided to concentrate on running and growing his portable-computer sales and service business. His company Portacom is now the biggest supplier of portable computers in Western Australia.
The interview was recorded using a video conference service.