What just happened? Nothing—the company created by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei—recently announced that it would be releasing its first product this summer: true wireless earbuds. Now, the firm has released images of the Concept 1, a product that shows off its design philosophy and could resemble the upcoming buds.
There’s a lot of buzz around Nothing. The London-based tech company has already raised more than $22 million in funding from big tech names, including Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin.
Pei was typically vague in the Concept 1 reveal post—it doesn’t even specify what the device is—but the design certainly brings to mind true wireless earbuds.
The Concept 1 features a semi-transparent outer case that shows off the inner workings, a look that Pei says “embodies our commitment to bringing technology closer to people.” It's pretty slick, with a metallic top and red highlight.
The Concept 1’s design is inspired by “grandmother’s tobacco pipe.” Nothing says its products draw inspiration from familiar objects as a way of making them feel fresh for years. The company in February announced it is working with Stockholm-based designers Teenage Engineering on its product roadmap.
“We distill technology to the essentials, embracing raw tech, where every gram and every byte live with purpose. We peel off everything superficial, like unnecessary branding on the surface, to focus solely on what adds true value to the user experience,” writes Pei. “We spend as much time thinking about what we can remove from a product, as what we can add to it.”
Despite Nothing acquiring the Essential IP, it doesn’t sound as if new smartphones are part of the plan. Pei envisions technology with “no screens, no dedicated devices, just barely noticeable technology that empowers us to be more human.”
The wireless earbud market is a crowded and highly competitive one, though Nothing’s first product could stand out from the crowd with its unique design. Let's hope it sounds as good as it looks.