Rabbit R1: The AI-Powered Gadget Set to Transform App Interaction

Rabbit, an AI startup led by CEO Jesse Lyu, has unveiled the Rabbit R1, a standalone AI device priced at $199. While Lyu emphasizes that the R1 is not intended to replace your smartphone immediately, the device's ambitious features suggest a future where it might do just that.

Resembling a modernized version of '90s handheld TVs, the Rabbit R1 boasts a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a rotating camera for photos and videos, and a scroll wheel for navigation and interaction with its built-in assistant. The device is powered by a 2.3GHz MediaTek processor, equipped with 4GB of memory, and offers 128GB of storage. The rounded body, designed in collaboration with Teenage Engineering, is not only visually appealing but also practical in its compact size.

However, the true innovation lies in Rabbit's operating system, aptly named Rabbit OS, and the underlying AI technology. Unlike traditional large language models, Rabbit OS operates on a "Large Action Model" (LAM), functioning as a universal controller for apps. Lyu envisions Rabbit OS as a solution similar to Alexa or Google Assistant, allowing users to control various tasks such as music playback, ride-hailing, grocery shopping, and messaging through a single interface without the need for multiple apps and logins.

Instead of relying on developers to support the R1 through APIs, Rabbit took a unique approach. The LAM was trained by humans interacting with popular apps like Spotify and Uber, essentially teaching the model how these apps function. This training allows the R1 to adapt its actions to any app, providing a seamless and universal user experience.

The R1 also introduces a dedicated training mode, enabling users to teach the device specific actions. For example, users can guide the device through tasks like photo editing in Photoshop, and the device will replicate the action independently going forward.

Despite its intriguing features, some details about the practical implementation remain unclear. While users can perform certain tasks on the R1 itself, a web portal called Rabbit Hole serves as the gateway to various services. The logistics of how the device learns from user interactions, especially in more complex applications like Photoshop, are yet to be fully explained.

Rabbit's innovative approach tackles the challenge of gaining support for a new operating system by teaching the device how to use existing apps. The R1 aims to be more than just a connected gadget and positions itself as a super app, offering a comprehensive interface for diverse tasks, akin to what ChatGPT could be for web search.

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