Rabbit R1 puts an AI-powered personal assistant in your pocket
Late last year, San-Fran's Humane launched a wearable AI gadget called the Ai Pin. Now tech startup Rabbit has partnered with Teenage Engineering for a bright orange personal assistant for your pocket called the R1.
The company says that the R1 was designed "to take a leap towards an app-free online experience" where instead of tapping icons to open separate apps on a smartphone to complete different tasks, then logging in and so on, the palm-friendly orange box does all that for you via one distraction-free interface.
"We’ve come to a point where we have hundreds of apps on our smartphones with complicated UX designs that don’t talk to each other," said Rabbit founder and CEO, Jesse Jyu. "As a result, end users are frustrated with their devices and are often getting lost. Rabbit is now building towards an intuitive app-free experience with the power of AI.
"Large Language Models, like ChatGPT, showed the possibility of understanding natural language with AI; our Large Action Model takes it one step further: it doesn’t just generate text in response to human input – it generates actions on behalf of users to help us get things done.”
The setup runs on a proprietary natural-language operating platform called the Rabbit OS, which itself is built around the company's Large Action Model that's designed to "see and act on apps in the same way that humans do." It's been trained on actual human interactions with apps, learning to complete such tasks on its own without the need for custom integrations.
Where existing voice assistants are limited to simple information requests or basic control of smart home gadgetry, the R1 extends such things to "handle most of one's digital errands – from simple tasks like searching for up-to-date information to complex tasks such as thoroughly researching and booking options for upcoming travel, or filling a virtual grocery store cart and completing transactions at check-out."
The company says that the operating system will currently work with most popular apps, but will shortly add a feature which allows a user to teach the device how to complete a task on more niche apps. Various features and functions will also be available via a cloud portal called the Rabbit Hole, which also stores service access data.
And though the tech is said to be built with privacy and security at its core, users will need to trust the startup for linking services to the Rabbit OS – with the promise of full control over service allocation, types of actions and encrypted stored data.
Described as about the same size as a stack of Post-It notes and tipping the scales at 115 g (0.25 oz), the standalone R1 is home to a 2.88-inch touchscreen display rocking category-based cards representing different LAM-assisted activities, and a scroll wheel. Much of the interaction will be by voice command via the push-to-talk button (the device does not have an "always listening mode") and there's a rotating AI-enhanced camera for making video calls.
It comes with both cellular (via an optional SIM card) and Wi-Fi connectivity, has 2.3-GHz MediaTek Helio processing brains supported by 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, and the battery is reckoned good for all day usage.
The Rabbit R1 is up for pre-order now, is priced at US$199 and is expected to ship from early March. Global sales will follow later in the year.
Product page: Rabbit R1