Most of the true wireless earbuds on the market today have one of two designs. Either they have a protruding stick like the AirPods or are a round, bulky bud that makes the wearer look a bit like Frankenstein’s monster. Either way, it’s safe to say that wireless earbud design has been stagnant since the accessories first launched.
Nothing, a tech startup created by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, wants to change that. It recently unveiled the Concept 1, a mystery product that appears to be a pair of true wireless earbuds. The gadget features a transparent design that lets you see the electronics inside.
So far, reactions to Nothing’s debut product have been mixed. Some of the confusion comes from the fact that the company hasn’t actually confirmed what the Concept 1 is. In its announcement, Nothing simply stated that the product is a representation of its design philosophy.
The startup is focusing on three elements for its products, including weightlessness, effortlessness, and timelessness.
All things considered, it seems safe to assume that the Concept 1 is indeed a wireless earbud. The form factor seems appropriate and many are speculating that the photo shows off the bud’s driver.
Of course, the Concept 1 certainly doesn’t look like most of the other wireless earbuds out there. That’s because Nothing took design cues from, wait for it, a “Grandmother’s tobacco pipe.”
The inspiration there is certainly odd, but it is evident in the shape of the Concept 1. Aside from the unorthodox design, the rest of the supposed earbud is still a mystery. Nothing hasn’t offered any details on what consumers should expect from the tech or an exact launch date.
According to Pei, the startup will start releasing its first products this summer. Given the fact that it is just now teasing a design concept and not an actual product (technically), consumers shouldn’t get their hopes up for an early summer release.
Although Nothing and its transparent wireless earbud remain shrouded in mystery, there is plenty of excitement around the company. Earlier this year, it launched a crowdfunding campaign worth $1.5 million to help get off the ground. At the time, Pei said in a statement, “We want our community to be part of our journey from the very start and play an active role in it.”
Around the same time, Nothing also acquired the up-and-coming smartphone brand Essential. That’s noteworthy considering Pei’s OnePlus background.
However, consumers shouldn’t expect a new smartphone from Nothing anytime soon. It appears that the startup will focus on making accessories and other smart devices for the time being.
Pei says, “We envision a future where technology is so advanced and seamlessly integrated into our lives that it feels like nothing, yet is everywhere. No screens, no dedicated devices, just barely noticeable technology that empowers us to be more human.”
While that does help explain the Concept 1’s transparent design, it doesn’t provide much of a clue for where Nothing intends to go in the future. Only time will tell what’s in store for this unique startup.