Nothing, the new tech company from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has unveiled the Concept 1. It’s a render showing off the kinds of design features the company will use in its upcoming true wireless earbuds, its debut product due for release this summer. It was designed by Tom Howard, the company’s head of design who also serves as vice head of design at Nothing’s partner Teenage Engineering.
To confuse matters, the Concept 1 isn’t something that Nothing actually plans to release and sell. It’s not even clear if it exists as a physical device. “While the same design principles will be followed and there will be similarities to Concept 1, the end product will look different,” said a Nothing spokesperson in an email to The Verge.
The way Nothing describes it, the Concept 1 embodies the three elements that will drive its design philosophy: weightlessness, effortlessness, and timelessness. That’s a lot of meaningless design jargon this close to summer. Why tease a concept design for wireless earbuds that will be available in just a few months?
Nothing tells The Verge that there are concrete clues here about what its earbuds will actually look like. These include elements like a lack of “unnecessary branding” and use of transparent materials. Nothing claims its shape takes inspiration from, of all things, “a grandmother’s tobacco pipe.” It’s also meant to represent the company’s overall design philosophy, rather than a specific product, it says. It certainly adheres to the Teenage Engineering aesthetic we’re already familiar with.
“These are the principles that have guided our product design over the past several months,” says Nothing. “We look forward to showing you how this comes to life through our first products this summer.”