Ever since Carl left OnePlus, there was huge anticipation in the tech circle regarding his next move. Well, he has announced his new company today, which is interestingly named ‘Nothing’. The new venture’s social handles read, “Technology should fade into the background and feel like nothing.”

Even the accompanying clip is a cipher to decode. Take a look —

So, what is it really?

Here’s what we know for now:

Carl Pei’s Nothing: A ‘Smart Devices’ company

Yeah, if you were in the loop of things, you’d have heard or read by now that Nothing is a consumer technology company that’s likely to deal in smart devices. And eventually, it aims to grow into an ecosystem player.

Nothing is based in London and so far has got some high-profile investors under its belt. The names include Kunal Shah (Cred founder), Steve Huffman (Reddit CEO), Tony Fadell (iPod inventor), Kevin Lin (Twitch co-founder), and Casey Neistat (veteran YouTuber).

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The first slate of devices is expected to release in H1, 2021. And to start with, we believe the initial products will be some sort of audio hardware. As for software, in an interview with The Verge, he hints, “We haven’t spent too much time thinking about the software portion of it. It definitely needs to be a good user experience if you are to generate revenue from software.” But, that is him speaking for the short term as he states in the long term, a “healthy business” would require both good hardware and good software.

Further, he adds, “I kind of envision a grass field with people having a picnic and there’s no screen, there’s no laptop screen, there’s no phone screen, there’s no smartwatch screen, there’s no billboard screen. That’s kind of the end state”.

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So, going by this, it is envisioned to be an AIoT company that achieves the Holy Grail of Ambient Computing. This will be a future wherein smart devices will be really smart and robustly integrated into our lifestyle and surroundings which would facilitate seamless functioning without requiring obvious interactions from the users’ end. Well, that is theoretical at the moment but an eventual goal of smart ecosystems.

Well, coming back to the present, it is too early to tell what Carl Pei and Nothing has in store. One thing he assures is that Nothing is a “completely independent company” and won’t “relabel somebody else’s products”. He mentions the products would include “custom-made” components and “differentiated” designs, and won’t be “different for the sake of being different”.


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