It’s called Rabbit R1, but before we get into what it does, let’s first go over a recent keynote video because it provides important background info. Company CEO Jesse Lyu states modern smartphone interfaces are not intuitive. He says there are way too many apps that don’t interact with one another. Lyu is not a fan of having to hop from app to app to app just to perform simple tasks, so Rabbit Inc. sought to create a device to automate all these processes, and that device is the r1.
Housed inside is a Large Action Model, or LAM for short. It’s an AI model with the ability to learn how users interact with apps so it can replicate the same behavior. The software can understand complex interactions without needing an extra API (Application Programming Interface) to guide it. This technology serves as the foundation for the company’s proprietary operating system called rabbit OS.
With rabbit OS, users will be able to create automated scripts known as 'rabbits' to carry out tasks via voice commands. These assistants behave similarly to Google Assistant. The main difference with Rabbit's gadget is all the tasks are done through a single interface. You won’t have to open apps and log in just to do one thing.
Rickrolled by #AI at #CES2024 😂I do love the @rabbit_hmi r1 though (and @teenageengin33r !!)@rickastley @CES #IoT #design pic.twitter.com/Yxt2vfWwVVJanuary 9, 2024
As an example, let’s say you want the r1 to do your grocery shopping. First, you record the process of launching a grocery app, choosing what you want, and then checking out. Next time you need to buy food, you can instead take out the r1, push the button on the side, and verbally command it to perform the same actions from your previous grocery shopping experience. That's the gist of how it works.
The scripts you create can even be monetized and distributed on the startup’s upcoming store, the Rabbit Hole.
Regarding hardware, the small device is reportedly about the “size of a stack of Post-it notes” and weighs 115g (roughly 4oz). It comes with a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a push-to-talk button, as mentioned above, and a scroll wheel for navigation. Under the hood, the Rabbit r1 is powered by a 2.3GHz MediaTek Helio P35 processor and an 'all-day' battery. Other notable features include support for cellular connectivity plus an AI-powered rotating camera.
The Rabbit r1 is available for pre-order right now in Luminous Orange. It’ll cost you $200 “with no additional monthly subscription required.” According to the official page, it can interact with music, rideshare, and shopping apps, to name a few. US orders will ship out in late March, and international orders will go out later in the year. An exact date has not been given.
In a sense, the Rabbit r1 is a streamlined smartphone that skews more heavily towards AI. It’ll be interesting to see how it competes with the models from the tech giants. Can it stand toe to toe, or will it be seen as nothing more than a toy? It's hard to say.
While we have you check out TechRadar's list of the best smartphones for 2024.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.