Is This New Gadget From A Santa Monica Startup The New Darling Of The AI ​​World?

18/04/2024

Call them virtual assistants or pocket companions, or whatever you want… but the race is on to distill the vast possibilities of Artificial Intelligence into a consumer-friendly portable device.

One of the contenders is the Santa Monica-based startup, Rabbit.

What’s the device? Rabbit launched its first gadget at CES 2024 this week. It’s called r1 pocket companion and it has been picked up the curiosity of the tech press.

What does it do? The r1, says founder Jesse Lyu, is a “personalized operating system through a natural language interface.” It’s powered by something called “Large Action Model” (LAM) – which the company says basically lets the r1 learn what you want it to do and to “see and act on apps the same way humans do.”

What does that even mean? Basically, you can talk to the device to ask it to book a flight, get a reservation at a restaurant, find an AirBnb; in short, it interacts with all your apps via voice commands.

So? The “problem” the r1 is trying to solve is how cumbersome it could be to use the ever-growing number of apps on your phone. Founder Lyu says the company’s ambition is to “create the simplest computer” that is intuitive and easy for users to use. The device is the size of a stack of Post-It notes, the company says.

Does it actually work? Don’t know yet. But in the 24 hours after the device’s debut, the company sold out its first batch of 10,000 units, at $199 a pop, Rabbit said. Folks should receive their devices starting in March. A second batch is available for pre-order though.

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