Already more fun and accessible than the Humane AI Pin

Rabbit startup at CES this January , towards the end of the year of the rabbit according to the lunar calendar. It’s a cute little orange square, positioned as a “pocket companion that takes AI from words to action.” In other words, it’s basically a special AI machine that acts like a walkie-talkie to a virtual assistant.

Sound familiar? You’re probably thinking of the Humane AI Pin and started shipping this month. I while as points of sale Wired and The Verge It gave an equally low rating of 4 out of 10.

The folks at Rabbit are paying close attention to the results and feedback of the Humane AI Pin launch. That was evident in founder and CEO Jesse Liu’s speech at the launch event last night at the TWA Hotel in New York City, where the company showed off the Rabbit R1 and listened enthusiastically to early adopters before taking their pre-orders. Engadget’s sample section goes to Devindra Hardavar, who will be doing the research. But I attended an industry colleagues unboxing event last night to check out the units (thanks for help!).

Refreshingly, the Rabbit R1 is a bright orange square co-developed by Teenage Engineering and Rabbit. It has a built-in 2.88-inch color display, an 8-megapixel camera that can look both ways, and a scroll wheel that resembles a crank. . Incidentally, the latter is also a compact gaming handheld designed by Teenage Engineering and shares the Rabbit R1’s charming retro aesthetic. Still, like the Humane AI Pin, the Rabbit R1 is your must-have portal to an AI-powered assistant and operating system. However, there are a few key differences, which Liu covered at length at the launch event last night.

Let’s get this out of the way: the Rabbit R1 already looks more attractive than the Humane AI Pin. First off, it costs $199 — less than a third of the AI ​​Pin’s $700. Humane also requires a $24 monthly subscription fee or its device will be basically useless. The rabbit, as Liu repeated many times throughout the night, does not require such payment. You’ll just be responsible for your own cellular service (4G LTE only, no 5G) and can bring your own SIM card or just default to plain old Wi-Fi. There, you’ll also find a USB-C charging port.

The R1’s advantages over the Pin don’t stop there. Thanks to its integrated screen (instead of an interesting but interesting projector), the orange square is more versatile and easier to interact with. You can use the wheel to move between the items and press the button on the right to confirm the selection. You can also tap the screen or press a button to start talking to the app.

Now, I haven’t taken pictures with the device myself, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the pictures I saw on its screen. Perhaps my expectations were rather low, but I found the images on the screens clear and impressively vivid as reviewers in the media room set up their devices using onboard cameras to scan QR codes. By the way, users won’t just take photos, videos and QR codes with the Rabbit R1. It also features Humane AI Pin-like Vision, which will analyze the photo you take and tell you what’s in it. In Lew’s demo, R1 told him he saw a crowd “at an event or concert venue.”

The Rabbit R1 unit on the table has the USB-C cable attached to its left edge.  The screen is on and it says The Rabbit R1 unit on the table has the USB-C cable attached to its left edge.  The screen is on and it says

Cherlynn Down for Engadget

We’ll have to wait until Devindra actually takes some pictures with our R1 rig and downloads them from Rabbit’s cleverly named Rabbit Hole web portal. Its name for camera-based features is Rabbit Eye, which is just nice. In fact, another aspect that distinguishes the Rabbit from the Humanist is the personality of the former. The R1 just oozes character. From the witty feature names to the retro aesthetic, the on-screen animation, and the fact that the AI ​​will actually make (dear) jokes, Rabbit and Teenage Engineering have crafted something that has more flavor than Humane’s almost clinical look and approach.

Of all that Liu pulled at Humane last night, there was noticeably absent talk of the R1’s thermal performance or the AI ​​Pin’s thermal issues. To be clear, the R1 is slightly larger than the Humane and uses an octa-core MediaTek MT6765 processor compared to the AI ​​Pin’s Snapdragon chip. There’s currently no indication that the Rabbit device will run as hot as Humane’s Pin, but I’ve been burned (metaphorically) before and remain cautious.

I’m also a bit concerned about the glossy plastic build of the R1. It looks great and feels lighter than expected, weighing just 115 grams, or about a quarter of a pound. The scroll wheel moved smoothly when I pushed it up and down, and unlike the rotating hinge on Samsung’s Galaxy watches, there were no physical grooves or notches. The camera body was flush with the rest of the R1’s body, and overall the unit felt sleek and refined.

Most of my other impressions of the Rabbit R1 stem from Liu’s on-stage demos, where I was surprised at how quickly his device responded to his requests. He was able to write on the R1’s screen and tilted it so that the controls sat below the screen instead of to the right. So, as Liu said, there was enough room for an on-screen keyboard that was the same width as the one on the original iPhone.

Rabbit also featured a Large Activity Model (LAM) that acts as a translator to translate popular apps like Spotify or Doordash into interfaces that work on the R1’s seemingly simple operating system. Liu also showed off some of these at the event last night, but I’d rather wait until we get to try them out for ourselves.

Liu made a lot of promises to the audience and admitted that the R1 won’t be on full display when they get their hands on it. The company’s website even has a list of features planned, in the works, or under investigation. First, the calendar, contacts program, GPS support, memory recall, etc. along with comes this summer alarm. Throughout his speech, Lew repeated the phrase “we’ll work on it” in between veiled references to Humane (for example, emphasizing that Rabbit does not charge additional subscription fees). Finally, “we continue to add value to this thing,” Liu said, referring to a roadmap of upcoming features.

We hope Liu and his team can deliver on their promises. I’m already intrigued by its annoying “teaching mode”, a way of creating macros by recording any movement on the R1 and letting it learn what you want it to do when you tell it to do something. Rabbit’s approach certainly seems more tailored for tinkerers and hobbyists, while Humane’s is ambitious and still closed. It feels like Google and Apple all over again, except whether the AI ​​device race will ever be on the same scale.

Last night’s event also made it clear what the Rabbit wants us to think. It was held at the TWA Hotel, formerly the headquarters of the TWA Flight Center. The entire space is an homage to retro vibes, and access to the Rabbit event includes a Pokedex, Sony Watchman, Motorola pager, Game Boy Color, and more. Every glass case I passed made me squeal and created a fond memory that resurfaced when I played with the R1. It didn’t feel good to be premium or durable; it felt good because it reminded me of my childhood.

Whether or not Rabbit is successful with the R1 depends on how you define success. The company has already sold over 100,000 units this quarter and looks set to sell at least one more (I’m already pulling out my credit card). I’m skeptical of the usefulness of AI devices, but largely due to its price and ability to work with third-party apps when enabled, Rabbit has already succeeded in making me feel like I’ve stepped into Alice in Wonderland.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *