Look how adorable it is!
Credit: Rabbit AI

The debut of the Rabbit R1 AI Assistant marks a remarkable moment in the tech sphere. This compact and innovative voice assistant, envisioned by Rabbit CEO Jesse Lyu, is a manifestation of a desire for uncomplicated phone usage. According to Lyu, this belief struck a chord, as the pocket-sized gadget swiftly sold its initial 10,000 units.

Describing the Rabbit R1 isn’t straightforward. It’s more than a typical smartphone and not just a voice assistant like Alexa, although it shares similarities with both. As it gears up for preorder release, we dived into understanding what the Rabbit R1 brings to the table, its functionality, and the potential to replace our smartphones.

24 gadgets from CES 2024 that you can buy already

The Rabbit R1 AI Assistant: Key Insights

Revealed at CES 2024, the Rabbit R1 stands as a $200 handheld AI assistant with a 2.88-inch touchscreen. Created in collaboration with Teenage Engineering, it showcases a square design reminiscent of a walkie-talkie, exuding a retro vibe with its vibrant orange hue. Equipped with a camera, a control wheel, speakers, and microphones, it also boasts 4GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and runs on a 2.3GHz MediaTek processor.

Surprisingly lightweight and only half the size of an iPhone 15, the Rabbit R1 operates differently from standard apps; it connects with the apps on your smartphone. Powered by Rabbit OS, the R1 utilizes a Large Action Model (LAM), an AI model adept at navigating app interfaces to carry out tasks. It responds to voice commands and handles activities such as booking rides, managing household chores, and providing answers to queries.

Despite its resemblance to smartphone capabilities, Lyu’s vision is to provide a more focused and less intrusive digital experience. Of interest is its dedicated training mode, which enables users to teach the R1 specific commands, ensuring consistent performance over time.

The R1’s LAM is designed to adapt and interact with new applications, broadening its capabilities beyond pre-installed apps, allowing it to accommodate various interfaces and functions. This training aspect enhances the R1’s versatility, making it a multi-functional tool for diverse tasks and interactions.

As highlighted by The Verge in their hands-on review, practical implications still remain unclear as the only operational model belongs to Lyu. Despite its adaptability, the R1 fundamentally functions as an advanced Google Assistant. Nonetheless, it’s undeniably charming—and orange.

Reasons Behind the Hype and How to Acquire One

Currently, you can’t. Rabbit’s initial batch of 10,000 units sold out rapidly, with a second batch scheduled for March, also disappearing in no time.

Its rapid and unexpected popularity stems from its potential to transform human-tech interactions. At CES 2024, the focus on integrating with existing operating systems like iOS or Android was dominant within the Internet of Things (IoT), whereas the R1’s nostalgic simplicity immediately caught attention.

Witness the buzz around Lyu’s announcement as the “iPhone moment for the AI era.”

Or, save your $200, as tech-savvy enthusiasts on X (formerly Twitter) have successfully replicated the Rabbit AI inside a smartphone.

Isn’t that an incredible turn of events?

Artificial Intelligence

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Chance Townsend
Assistant Editor, General Assignments

Based in Austin, Texas, Chance Townsend is an Assistant Editor at Mashable. With a Master’s in Journalism from the University of North Texas, his research primarily focuses on online communities, dating apps, and professional wrestling.

Outside work, he’s an enthusiastic cook, loves sleeping, and “enjoys” watching the Lions and Pistons break his heart weekly. If you have any stories or recipes that might be of interest, you can reach him via email at [email protected].


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