Meet the Rabbit R1, the new AI assistant hoping to replace smartphones

Meet the Rabbit R1, the new AI assistant hoping to replace smartphones

One of the major innovations launched at CES 2024 is Rabbit’s R1, a handheld device aiming to be more than a smartphone. It’s an artificial intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistant that pioneers a new kind of model, the Large Action Model (LAM), developed by Rabbit for its devices.

On the surface, it’s a competitor to Alexa or Siri and can do all the things you’d expect from that. Looking a little deeper, however, the R1 appears to handle these tasks more smoothly. Everything is done through a single interface and the CEO and founder of Rabbit Jesse Lyu has said that the screen is primarily for verification. Users won’t be expected to use it – everything will be conversational.

What is the Large Action Model and how does the R1 work?

Developed by Rabbit, the LAM is at the core of the R1. Rather than grapple with all the myriad APIs that such devices would normally need to go through to interface with sites like Uber and Amazon, Rabbit taught an AI model how to use systems like a human would. They say their model “can infer and model human actions on computer applications, perform the actions reliably and quickly, and is well-suited for deployment in various AI assistants and operating systems.”

The LAM has been trained by humans on how to use a variety of apps, including details like what a settings icon looks like, what an order confirmation looks like, and how to use a search bar. Lyu said that these fundamentals can be applied across any app.

There is also a training mode, so if the model does not know how to do something you need from it, you can teach it. The example given by Lyu was teaching how to remove watermarks in PhotoShop; “You’ll be like, ‘Hey, first of all, go to a software called Photoshop. Open it. Grab your photos here. Make a lasso on the watermark and click click click click. This is how you remove watermark.’”

It’s fair to say there is a lot of hype around the product on X, with one prominent user going as far as to call the R1, “the iPhone moment for the AI Era.”

What are the Rabbit R1’s specs?

The R1 is a compact, vibrant orange device that has a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a rotating camera, and a button you press when you want to address it. The physical object was designed in collaboration with Teenage Engineering, which has an eye for this kind of thing. It has a 2.3GHz MediaTek processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of storage. The battery life lasts “all day” according to Rabbit, though this could mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

Retailing at $199, if the R1 lives up to Rabbit’s promises it could be part of an AI personal assistant revolution.

Featured image credit: Rabbit

Ali Rees

Freelance journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist.

They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at The Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games.
During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of them are idiots.

The post “Meet the Rabbit R1, the new AI assistant hoping to replace smartphones” by Ali Rees was published on 01/10/2024 by