Nothing is nothing if not innovative. On Tuesday, the Carl Pei-led company unveiled the first concept photo of Concept 1, a transparent wireless earbud.
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) March 9, 2021
Teenage Engineering is best known for making retro, minimalist synthesizers that are popular among musicians including Bon Iver and Beck. It partnered with Nothing in February 2021.
The concept photo, which is nothing short of a teaser, was revealed in a blog post by Pei. It shows a transparent earbud, at the center of which is a red, white, and black bulls-eye design. The word “Nothing” appears to be etched on the internal module.
What makes Concept 1 so intriguing is that it is like nothing we have seen before. The transparent clear case, which, according to the press release written by Pei, “embodies our commitment by bringing technology closer to people,” shows off everything inside. However, it is not the first look into Nothing’s first product launch this summer – instead, it brings together some of the design principles Nothing is working towards. Better expect its true wireless headphones to follow some similar design principles, because the final product will look different.
The principles include weightlessness, meaning the exclusion of anything superfluous items in the design. The aim is to use only the essentials and to simplify the end product. “We spend as much time thinking about what we can remove from a product, as what we can add to it,” said Pei in his blog post. The next principle is effortlessness, which means Nothing wants users to be able to pick up a new product and use it intuitively without any unnecessary complications. Finally, we come to timelessness, which means taking inspiration from something that feels familiar but not outdated.
“These are the principles that have guided our product design over the past several months,” said Pei. “We look forward to showing you how this comes to life through our first products this summer. That’s when the fun starts.”
The shape of Concept 1, according to Nothing, was inspired by a “grandmother’s tobacco pipe.” It is built with a semi-transparent design, as part of an approach that features, “no screens, no dedicated devices, just barely-noticeable technology that empowers us to be more human.”
While smartphones do not feature in Nothing’s plans, for now, Pei teased his vision for the future. “We envision a future where technology is so advanced and seamlessly integrated into our lives that it feels like nothing, yet is everywhere,” he wrote. “No screens, no dedicated devices, just barely noticeable technology that empowers us to be more human,” he said.