Forget phones and smartwatches – the breakout gadget at CES 2023 is a palm-sized AI companion called the rabbit r1 that wants to be your new best friend. Yeah, you read that right.
Created by a startup aptly named Rabbit, this unique device looks like what might happen if an Amazon Echo and a Tamagotchi had a baby. It features a tiny color screen, scroll wheel, camera, and microphone packed into a cute rounded rectangle that can fit in your pocket. But don’t let its diminutive size fool you - the r1 has big ambitions.
Powered by rabbit’s own large action model, the r1 aims to serve as a universal sidekick that can not only understand natural language requests but actually carry them out. Tell it to book you an Uber or order takeout, and it will navigate those apps and complete tasks just like a human would, clicking buttons and filling out forms. The r1 learns by watching you use apps and can pick up new skills over time.
The concept is akin to having a capable digital assistant at your beck and call, without needing to fuss with your phone every time. rabbit CEO Jesse Lyu said the goal is efficiency: “Large language models are a universal solution for natural language, we want a universal solution for these services.”
Early demos of the r1 are impressive, showcasing complex chains of actions across multiple apps executed completely autonomously. And that blocky design with high-vis colors? Just try looking away - the r1 equally channels startup chic and Toy Story charm.
Of course, with tech giants also racing to infuse devices with AI smarts, rabbit faces stiff competition. But the r1’s singular focus as an app-hopping servant may give it an edge. And priced at $200 with no subscription fees, this helpful sidekick could catch on if its skills prove practical.
The rabbit r1 brings an approachable face to AI while addressing modern app overload. Its lively personality doesn’t hurt either. “We’re not trying to kill your phone,” said Lyu. “This is a companion.” An anti-social media buddy, if you will. With preorders stacking up ahead of a March launch, the r1 represents a playful vision of AI as an everyday ally - not just a faceless interface.