At the most recent CES, the Rabbit R1 created a stir with its beautiful appearance and, more importantly, its application of artificial intelligence to make things like hiring a taxi, looking up information on the internet, or listening to music on Spotify easier without requiring the user to pull out their phone or open apps.
The R1 is the product of a partnership between Teenage Engineering and Perplexity AI, and it is available for $200 with no monthly membership fee (you still need to enter a SIM card). For the first 100,000 R1 purchases, the latter is also giving away a free year of Perplexity Pro subscription.
One Perplexity Pro year
For accurate web insights, Perplexity AI leverages both its own AI model and third-party models like Anthropic, Google, and OpenAI. The company is valued at $520 million after raising $73 million recently. In the field of generative AI research, the start-up presents itself as a direct rival to industry titans like Google, Microsoft, and others.
We're thrilled to announce our partnership with Rabbit: Together, we are introducing real-time, precise answers to Rabbit R1, seamlessly powered by our cutting-edge PPLX online LLM API, free from any knowledge cutoff. Plus, for the first 100,000 Rabbit R1 purchases, we're… pic.twitter.com/hJRehDlhtv— Perplexity (@perplexity_ai) January 18, 2024
After the first year of operation, we are unsure of what will happen—would R1 users be required to pay? And once 100,000 units are sold, what about the remaining customers? As of right now, Rabbit is not available, but that could change soon. With 50,000 units already sold through pre-order and a sixth batch of units now being opened for orders, the young company guarantees that customers in the UK and the EU will receive their device by the end of July, even if they only order from this final batch.
Rabbit R1 complex features
The R1 is distinguished by its distinctive appearance that hides sophisticated features. It contains two microphones, a camera, a speaker, and a 2.88-inch touchscreen in addition to a voice control button. It was intended to be used in conjunction with cell phones, not as a replacement for them.
The R1 differs from conventional voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, which work more like speech interfaces for customized mini-apps, in that it aims to make daily tasks simpler by responding to orders in natural English. Using images and videos of popular applications, Rabbit created a “large action model” (LAM) that enables the R1 to operate and navigate through these programs on its own.
The gadget is particularly notable for its small size and distinctive Teenage Engineering-designed visual design. It has a screen, but its primary functions are to show search results and validate commands.
Naturally, the key question will be whether the Rabbit R1 can survive in a market where such formidable technological competitors predominate. The CEO and creator, Jesse Lyu, acknowledges the difficulty ahead but emphasizes the startup’s adaptability and inventiveness in the face of powerful competitors. The R1 might become widely available to consumers worldwide very soon if pre-orders are as strong as expected.