Rabbit R1 was Co-designed by Teenage Engineers
Despite being a pocket-sized, specialized virtual assistant device, this is not a phone. Your phone probably has a virtual assistant on it. If you are reading Engadget, chances are good that you have a smart speaker in your house that you can use for routine domestic chores. However, Rabbit claims that Alexa and Siri are not the greatest use of artificial intelligence.
Teenage Engineering co-designed Rabbit R1, an adorable AI-powered assistant
The company, which was not an official exhibitor at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, imagines a civilization where you exchange apps for conversation and communicate with an AI using something akin to a walkie-talkie, instead of a distracting device that displays icons in your face. At the exhibition, we got a chance to check out the Rabbit RI AI gadget for ourselves.
The original Rabbit device, the R1, is an incredibly beautiful small square in an adorably vivid orange color. You can’t deny the aesthetic attraction of Teenage Engineering’s design team’s virtual assistant device, even if you don’t think it’s required. It features two microphones, a speaker, an analogue scroll wheel, a small 2.88-inch touchscreen, and a “360-degree rotational eye,” which is really a fancy term for a camera that can be swiveled to face you or through the back of the phone.
To interact with the Rabbit AI, the main method is to press and hold the “Push-to-Talk” button. Rabbit OS is told to begin listening by this. As you ask a question or give it an assignment, a highly stylized and disembodied rabbit head slowly bobs before starting to work. Do you want to reserve an Uber ride? Searching for a dish to finish off the leftovers in your refrigerator? Who sampled “That Lady” by The Isley Brothers, you ask? (Beastie Boys, Basement Jaxx, and Kendrick Lamar, FTR, are the answers.) The controlled video demo suggests that the Rabbit R1 AI is capable of handling such tasks.
Rabbit OS uses a mechanism known as the Large Action Model (LAM) to manage those tasks. The CEO and founder of the company, Jesse Lyu, refers to this as the main innovation of the business. Instead of using apps or APIs, operations are supposed to be carried out on interfaces. To put it briefly, it can be trained to carry out almost any task that can be finished using a user interface. It resembles a sophisticated macro.
By teaching the Rabbit AI how to create an image using Midjourney over Discord, Lyu showcases the AI’s abilities. Rabbit OS can repeat the process when asked after Lyu walks and finishes it.
By default, the rotating camera faces into the body, acting as a privacy shutter. It simply spins its sensor in the direction of the target when called. Within specific bounds, it can execute common tricks like recognizing people or things in the actual world. Its interaction with the AI, however, will surely pique people’s interest. During the demonstration, Lyu gestures to a fully stocked refrigerator and asks the R1 to suggest a recipe that, given its ingredients, is “low in calories.”
First of all, there are still a lot of mysteries surrounding the Rabbit R1. How much time does the battery last? The company claims that it is open “all day,” but what does it really mean? Can the average user train it with ease? We do, at least, have some knowledge. We are aware of its price of $199 and that it may be pre-ordered now, with a March or April shipment date.
FAQs – Rabbit R1: Co-designed by Teenage Engineers:
Q1: What sets Rabbit R1 apart from smart speakers like Alexa or Siri?
A1: Rabbit R1 distinguishes itself by envisioning a future where users communicate with AI through conversation, akin to a walkie-talkie, rather than interacting with a screen full of icons. It prioritizes meaningful interactions over traditional app-based communication.
Q2: How does Rabbit R1 interact with users?
A2: The primary method of interaction with Rabbit R1 is through the “Push-to-Talk” button. Users press and hold the button to initiate communication with the Rabbit AI. The device’s Rabbit OS then begins listening, and a stylized rabbit head appears to acknowledge user input.
Q3: What features make Rabbit R1 aesthetically appealing?
A3: Rabbit R1 boasts an aesthetically pleasing design, featuring two microphones, a speaker, an analogue scroll wheel, a small 2.88-inch touchscreen, and a “360-degree rotational eye” (camera). The design is crafted by Teenage Engineering and is characterized by its small square form in a vivid orange color.
Q4: What is the Large Action Model (LAM) in Rabbit OS?
A4: Rabbit OS utilizes the Large Action Model (LAM) as a mechanism to manage tasks. Jesse Lyu, the CEO and founder, considers LAM the main innovation of the company. It allows Rabbit R1 to perform tasks without relying on traditional apps or APIs, using interfaces instead.
Q5: How does Rabbit R1 handle tasks like suggesting recipes?
A5: Rabbit R1 utilizes its AI capabilities to handle tasks such as suggesting recipes. During a demonstration, Jesse Lyu gestures towards a stocked refrigerator, asking the R1 to suggest a “low-calorie” recipe based on the ingredients. The AI’s ability to understand and respond to such queries showcases its versatility.
Q6: What is the pricing and availability of Rabbit R1?
A6: Rabbit R1 is priced at $199, and pre-orders are currently open. The expected shipment date is in March or April. The device is positioned as a pocket-sized, specialized virtual assistant, and users can explore its capabilities once it becomes available.
Q7: What are the known specifications of Rabbit R1?
A7: While some details, such as battery life, remain undisclosed, Rabbit R1 is described as a pocket-sized device featuring two microphones, a speaker, a small touchscreen, and a rotational camera. The device operates on Rabbit OS, utilizing the Large Action Model for task management.