Nothing picks up Dyson's head of design as it reportedly sets sights on phones

Nothing ear (1) review
Nothing ear (1) review (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Dyson's former head of design, Adam Bates, has joined Nothing as design director.
  • The company announced that it has sold over 400,000 Nothing ear (1) earbuds.
  • Bates will create the company's first design hub in London with the likely aim of creating Nothing's first smartphone.

Adam Bates, former head of design at Dyson, as join Carl Pei's Nothing as design director. Bates leaves his 14-year tenure at Dyson — where he helped design Dyson Supersonic, Airwrap, and a number of other Dyson products — to form Nothing's first design hub in London. Bates says his "mission at this early stage is to build a team and develop a design culture so we can create iconic products that will change the consumer tech landscape."

After Nothing's first product launched last year — that's the Nothing ear (1) earbuds — many expected the company to announce a smartphone shortly afterward. While that still hasn't happened, hiring Bates for the design team could be the first key step to getting an iconic smartphone design out to match ear (1)'s unique transparent design.

Dyson products are usually marked by their minimalist, yet industrial, look with primary color accents. Nothing ear (1)'s could certainly be described as having followed a similar design language. While they didn't quite make our list of best wireless earbuds, it seems that consumers have found the company's first earbuds to look unique enough to give them a try. To date, Nothing says it has sold over 400,000 ear (1) units.

Given how unique-looking Nothing's first product was, getting a design powerhouse like Bates on board could help drive more stand-out upcoming products. We previously reported that Nothing was working on 5 new products back in November, and it's likely that Bates' design team could have a hand in at least a few of these if they are eventually released to the market.

Nothing already has a significant investor and talent base, which includes the group formerly known as Google Ventures, YouTuber Casey Neistat, Twitter co-founder Kevin Lin, and co-founder and CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu