Events like CES in Las Vegas are an opportunity to discover new products, other than those offered by the tech giants. And among the curiosities of the 2024 edition of this show, there is the Rabbit R1, a small gadget powered by AI which, in recent days, has been making headlines. It is quite difficult to define what this device is, since it is a completely new category. But its creator says the Rabbit R1 is an AI-powered pocket companion that lets you perform actions using a voice interface.
Rabbit's r1, the all-new pocket AI assistant uses a custom operating system to convert natural language into actual actions that can be used to navigate your favorite apps and services.
Want to plan a trip from your favorite travel app? Just press the Push To Talk button on the… pic.twitter.com/2ydCkQ8xtG
— Alvin Foo (@alvinfoo) January 10, 2024
The device is the size of half an iPhone. It has a screen, a rotating camera, a wheel for navigation, and a button on the edge. In terms of connectivity, it only has a USB-C port and a SIM card slot. And at the heart of this product is the Rabbit OS operating system, based on an AI that the startup calls Large Action Model. “Large language models, like ChatGPT, have shown the possibility of understanding natural language with AI; Our large-scale action model goes even further: it doesn’t just generate text in response to human intervention, it generates actions on behalf of users to help us get things done.” , explains Rabbit boss Jesse Lyu.
— rabbit inc. (@rabbit_hmi) January 9, 2024
An AI that does everything?
The idea is therefore to allow the user to carry out actions which normally require opening an app on a smartphone (ordering online, searching for accommodation, etc.) by communicating with the Rabbit R1 assistant, with the voice interface. To make this possible, Rabbit created a web portal called “rabbit hole” on which the user gives access to its apps and online services, so that the AI can then carry out actions for them on these apps and services.
“Similar to handing your unlocked phone to a friend who will help you order takeout, the Rabbit OS performs tasks for users with their permission, without preemptively storing their identity, information or passwords”, indicates the startup on its website.
A concept that appeals
In other words, Rabbit offers an assistant comparable to ChatGPT, but which could be even more useful than Google Assistant or Siri, to carry out actions with only voice commands. According to the startup, its AI has already been trained to perform actions on the most popular applications. But to offer even more possibilities to users, the startup plans to create an interface that will allow this AI to be trained to accomplish tasks on niche apps that would not be in the training data.
In any case, with its retro and elegant design, as well as the promise of an assistant that allows you to do almost everything without touching your smartphone, Rabbit is becoming a hit. Currently up for pre-order, the Rabbit R1 retails for $199 in the United States. And the success of this product is above the expectations of its creator. On January 10, the first day of pre-orders, Rabbit sold 10,000 units, while it only expected to sell 500.
The same day, Rabbit announced that a second batch of 10,000 units has been pre-ordered.
The second batch of 10,000 rabbit r1 devices is sold out! Pre-orders for the third batch are available now at https://t.co/R3sOtVVQTx
Expected delivery date is May – June 2024. pic.twitter.com/PHLOFdyauX
— rabbit inc. (@rabbit_hmi) January 12, 2024
- It remains to be seen whether, after the buzz generated at CES in Las Vegas, the startup will succeed in stabilizing its sales.
- Rabbit has developed a small device called Rabbit R1 which allows you to perform actions on apps without touching your smartphone
- At the heart of this retro-designed device, there is Rabbit OS and its artificial intelligence which learns to use apps and perform actions on them for the user (who only has to make voice commands)
- The idea appealed to the crowds, since Rabbit recorded 20,000 pre-orders in one day
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