Santa Monica-based startup Rabbit Inc., in collaboration with Teenage Engineering, recently introduced an innovative gadget that challenges traditional smartphone app usage. The Rabbit R1, launched at CES, is a $199 device designed to perform complex tasks through natural language inputs, potentially simplifying the way we interact with technology.
Jesse Lyu, CEO of Rabbit Inc., emphasizes the current challenges faced by smartphone users. The plethora of apps with complex user interfaces and the lack of seamless interaction between them often leads to user frustration. Recognizing this, the Rabbit R1 aims to streamline these interactions by using advanced AI.
Central to the Rabbit R1 is the company’s “Large Action Model.” This AI system is designed to learn from users’ interactions with their usual apps and web interfaces. By observing these interactions, the AI can replicate them upon request. The process occurs on a customized cloud platform known as the “Rabbit hole.” Here, users can manage their accounts and permissions, eliminating the need to download multiple apps on their devices.
One of the standout features of Rabbit OS, the device’s operating system, is its approach to privacy and security. The system performs tasks on behalf of the user, similar to how one might hand a phone to a friend to place a takeout order, without storing sensitive identity information or passwords.
In terms of design, the partnership with Teenage Engineering, known for its innovative and creative tech designs, is evident. The R1 sports a sleek, pocket-friendly design with several noteworthy features. The “Rabbit eye,” a rotating camera, is positioned to face downward by default, ensuring privacy. It can be used for video calls and supports advanced computer vision applications. Additionally, the device includes a microphone activated by a push-to-talk button, minimizing concerns about always-on listening.
The R1 also boasts a 2.88-inch touchscreen display, a scroll wheel for easy navigation, and a USB-C port for charging. With a 1,000mAh battery, 128GB of storage, and a SIM slot for mobile data, the device is well-equipped for daily use.
Starting today, the Rabbit R1 is available for preorders at a relatively affordable price of $199, with no monthly subscription fee. This positions the R1 as one of the first standalone AI devices of 2024, offering a glimpse into a future where app-heavy smartphones may become obsolete.