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It’s clearly time: all the news about the transparent tech renaissance


There’s a lot riding on the Ear 1 wireless earbuds, which are the first product to come from Nothing — a new company created by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. Backed with investment from GV, Tony Fadell, and influential creators like Casey Neistat, Nothing is aiming to build out an entire family of products that follow the design ethos debuting with the Ear 1. Transparency is at the heart of that: the Ear 1s have a clear “stem” that lets you peer at their internal components, and the unconventional charging case has a transparent lid to keep the buds in view at all times. 

Pei has said his motivation for starting Nothing was a consumer tech industry that felt stale, unimaginative, and awash in gadgets that all feel very same-y. I don’t really buy into that viewpoint; sure, AirPods clones are everywhere, but the best earbuds from Samsung, Sony, Google, Amazon, and other big players are all visually distinct. Regardless, Nothing doesn’t see itself as “an audio company,” according to Pei, but the booming true wireless earbuds market seemed like an advantageous place to start. He’s also aiming to capture the same price-to-performance magic that was associated with OnePlus in its early days.


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