First Impressions: What is the Rabbit R1?

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The charming sidekick (co-designed by Teenage Engineering) promises to take pocket gadgets to the next level, offering a smartphone-like experience but with an intuitive, unified, AI-driven interface that eliminates the need to interact with individual apps and websites. That means it might be the face of one of the most significant technological trends of 2024.

If you’re intrigued about the Rabbit R1 and how it might transform the course of personal computing – or at least demonstrate how next-generation smartphone voice assistants might operate – we’ve compiled all of the information you need here. Everything you need to know about this potentially revolutionary device, from its price and functionality to the AI engine that powers the R1 experience, is right here.

The first batches of the Rabbit R1 are scheduled to ship to users later in 2024, though availability appears to be limited at first – so you may have to wait a while to receive your own Rabbit R1.

Overview:

The Rabbit R1 looks and functions similarly to a phone, with a camera and a SIM card slot, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility. What distinguishes the Rabbit R1 is its interface: instead of a grid of apps, you get an AI assistant that communicates with your favorite apps and handles everything for you.

For example, you could use the R1 to research a vacation destination and book airfare there, create a playlist of your favorite music, or book a cab. In principle, you can accomplish practically anything with your phone simply by asking. However, there are still many doubts about how it works and whether it safeguards your privacy in the way that it claims.

Release Date And Price:

On January 9, 2024, the first batch of 10,000 Rabbit R1 units became available for preorder, coinciding with the device’s. These units soon sold out, as did a second batch of 10,000 units, which became available shortly after.

According to Rabbit, those who placed preorders will begin receiving their devices in March and April 2024. At the time of writing, there is no word on when another batch of units will be available for preorder, or when the r1 will go on sale more broadly.

Hardware:

The Rabbit r1 is square, bright orange, and features a 2.88-inch color touchscreen on the front. It’s a little device, almost fitting in the palm of a hand, weighing 115 grams (approximately 4 oz). For the time being, there is just one design available; this item cannot be purchased in numerous colors.

We know that the R1 includes a far-field microphone and built-in speakers. There’s also an incorporated 360-degree camera here, which appears to be known as the Rabbit Eye. Touching the screen allows you to interact with items, and an analog scroll wheel is available on the device’s side if necessary.

A push-to-talk button is located on the right side of the Rabbit R1, and you use it to communicate with the device’s artificial intelligence assistant. There’s no need for a “hey Google” or “hey Siri” wake command, and the assistant won’t have to constantly listen for your voice. Double-tapping the button activates the onboard camera.

Software:

The Rabbit r1 looks cute with its bright orange casing, but it’s the software that truly sets it apart. If you’ve used ChatGPT or Google Bard before, this is similar: Rabbit OS is led by an AI chatbot that can both answer inquiries and complete tasks.

Rabbit founder and CEO Jesse Lyu demonstrated the R1 answering philosophical questions, checking stock prices, looking up movie information, playing music on Spotify, booking an Uber, ordering a pizza, and organizing a vacation (complete with airfare and hotel reservations).

Conclusion:

Interestingly, Rabbit maintains the R1 is not intended to replace your phone, but rather to function alongside it. The R1 can’t yet browse YouTube, check social media, or handle your email, so it appears that the simple smartphone will be around for a while.

While some details about how the Rabbit R1 works and interacts with your favorite apps and services remain unknown, it’s undeniably one of the most interesting pieces of AI hardware to date, as evidenced by the swift sell-out of its initial stock. We’ll provide you with additional first impressions as soon as we get our hands on one of 2024’s early tech stars.

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