The company behind Rabbit r1 describes the product as a “pocket companion” and the future of human-machine interface.
The sell-out launch of the r1 has received over 50,000 pre-orders with the first batch expected to ship in March 2024.
A new AI device Rabbit r1 has experienced an overwhelming response, selling out its first batch of 10,000 units in just a single day. This exceeded the company’s internal targets by a considerable margin, showcasing the high consumer interest in the new product. The company had initially set a modest goal of selling 500 devices on launch day, but the actxual sales far surpassed these expectations.
Despite the initial sell-out, customers can still preorder the device for the same price, with the understanding that there might be a wait for delivery.
Behind the ‘cute’ hardware that makes up Rabbit r1, is a sophisticated operating system, called Rabbit OS. The AI tech is based on a Large Action Model (LAM), a technology that enables it to interact with existing applications without needing native app support.
This capability allows it to perform various tasks in apps such as booking an Uber or accessing a Spotify account, effectively operating as a voice-controlled universal controller for apps. Additionally, the device has a special training mode that allows users to teach it specific actions. The tech specifications provided on the website include a 2.3GHz MediaTek processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of storage.
The mission behind Rabbit is to provide the simplest computer companion. The website states:
“Human intentions are deeply personal, have layers, may be incomplete, and could change on a whim. rabbit OS uses its long-term memory of you to translate your requests into actionable steps and responses that LAM could leverage in real time.”
The Rabbit website reveals that Rabbit OS will soon be able to understand and speak multiple languages in bilingual or multilingual conversations.
The introductory video accompanying the launch of r1 outlines how Rabbit is a response to the need for more intuitive tools.
Jesse Lyu, the Founder and CEO of Rabbit, introduced the new product by describing how it meets consumer needs for human-machine interaction that is more intuitive than smartphones. “The future of human-machine interfaces should be more intuitive” Lyu said. “iPhone and Android phones have been here for years and we have grown tired of them. The smartphone was supposed to be intuitive, but with hundreds of apps on your phone today that don’t work together, it no longer is.” He adds, “Our smartphones have become the best device to kill time instead of saving time”.
Nonetheless, the founder of Rabbit has been clear that the r1 is not intended to replace smartphones, and is clear in his communication that it is a separate AI device that blends advanced AI technology with consumer-friendly design and novel functionality. However, its long-term impact and ability to challenge the dominance of traditional smartphones remain to be seen as it enters the market.
The AI gadget has already won a sweep of awards, including RollingStone’s Best of CES Award and The Verge’s Best Gadget.
Not everyone is convinced by the utility of the AI device. One user @laforet, expressed his doubts about the success of AI devices like Rabbit, tweeting “I suspect this is a gimmick and will eventually become an App. Phones as omni tools aren’t going anywhere anytime soon”.