This means we’re only a few months away from the first Nothing product, backed by a $15 million investment from GV, previously known as Google Ventures. There’s little detail about the headphones other that they will be the popular wireless earbud-style.
Now, don't get too excited as this is not a product even though it does somewhat resemble an earbud, but Nothing has released this concept, inspired by a grandmother’s tobacco pipe, as an "expression of our design principles".
The three key principles are outlined as 'Weightless, 'Effortless' and 'Timeless. You can read the full blog post where the firm explains how it thinks about what to remove as well as add, aims for natural interaction and strives for wonder and surprise.
Since the original Apple AirPods, the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) market has boomed so Nothing will have to take on not only Apple but a large number of brands including Sony, Bose, Huawei and Samsung.
Pei will also have to compete with his former company, with the OnePlus Buds Z the latest pair. We assume the Nothing earbuds will opt for a similar value-for-money strategy to OnePlus so they could be budget-friendly. As more details emerge, official or leaked, we’ll update this article.
What other Nothing products will there be?
A focus on audio seems to be likely as Nothing announced on Twitter a founding partnership with Teenage Engineering, which will handle the design of products.
"Over the past months, their unique craftsmanship and thorough experience in industrial design have been instrumental in shaping Nothing’s design identity," said Nothing.
Stockholm-based Teenage Engineering has worked on various audio products in the past including headphones (M-1 shown below), portable stereos, instant cameras, synthesizers and more.
Although Nothing will kick things off with wireless earbuds, it's not a dedicated audio company. Pei is experienced in the phone market from his years at OnePlus and mobile could well be on the cards but he’s keeping his cards close to his chest for now.
“We’re building an ecosystem of smart devices,” Pei said. “We’ll start with simpler products, wireless earbuds. We’re going to have multiple products throughout the year, not just audio products, and eventually we want to build it so these devices talk to each other.”
A range of ‘smart device’ could mean almost anything these days but it’s a plan that GV finds ‘compelling’, at least.
“We have high confidence that with Carl’s global mindset, the Nothing team will have a meaningful impact on the market for consumer technology,” said Tom Hulme, General Partner at GV.