After Ai Pin, an AI hardware named “Rabbit R1” steals the show at CES, selling over 10,000 units in just one day, with the initial batch sold out.
Priced at $199, the AI handheld device vows to “dominate all apps” with its unique approach – “There is no need for an app for that.”
On January 11th, Rabbit announced on X that when they started developing R1, the company expected to sell 500 units on the launch day. However, within 24 hours, sales exceeded expectations by 20 times, reaching 10,000 units.
A New “Internet Celebrity” Priced at Only $199
The Orange-colored Rabbit R1, weighing 115 grams, was unveiled by the startup named “Rabbit” at CES on January 9th. It aims to revolutionize human-machine interaction.
Rabbit R1, a palm-sized AI smart device, operates similarly to ChatGPT. It incorporates the Large Action Model (LAM) for conversation through voice commands.
R1 features a new AI-based system called RabbitOS, aiming to serve as an intermediary between users and smartphones, targeting the redundancy and inefficiency of apps.
Priced at $199, without the need for a subscription, Rabbit R1 gained instant fame at the expo, especially when compared to Humane’s AI pin starting at $699 with a $24 monthly subscription.
The company behind Rabbit R1, formerly known as Cyber Manufacture, secured three rounds of funding last year, with the first round led by Vinod Khosla, the first venture capitalist for OpenAI. A month later, Kakao, a Korean internet giant, invested in the A+ round.
Jesse Lyu, co-founder and CEO of Rabbit, is a well-known figure, previously labeled as “China’s most audacious entrepreneur.” Before co-founding Cyber Manufacture in 2020, he was the founder and CEO of Raven Tech, acquired by Baidu in 2017.
Rabbit R1 boasts an innovative design with a 2.88-inch touchscreen, buttons, a wheel, microphone, speaker, and a 360-degree panoramic camera.
Internally, Rabbit R1 is equipped with a 2.3GHz MediaTek processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB storage, supporting Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a USB-C+SIM card slot.
While it can have a SIM card, R1 cannot make phone calls like a regular phone. It is likely that the SIM card is for the device to connect to the internet. Rabbit claims that R1 can last a full day on a single charge.
The highlight is the new operating system, RabbitOS, built on the Large Action Model (LAM). Unlike the Large Language Model (LLM) behind ChatGPT, LAM emphasizes “behavior” and learns action processes.
R1 can understand complex user intentions through continuous learning and imitation of user demonstrations. It represents user actions and completes tasks within applications.
From the demonstration in the video, the capabilities of LAM and the large LLM are quite similar. Upon receiving natural language commands from humans, Rabbit OS can understand complex intentions and assist users in operating apps to complete tasks.
When users press the side button, the conversation system can be awakened within 500 milliseconds. Jesse Lyu mentioned, “R1 is 10 times faster than most AI voice recognition tools in the market.”
After waking up the system, users can “ask any questions they want” and receive voice responses with subtitles. A live demonstration included asking about the current stock price of Coca-Cola, showcasing R1’s ability to provide internet-based answers.
By using R1 to capture ingredients in the refrigerator, users can request a healthy low-calorie recipe. After a moment of consideration, R1 suggested, “How about a countryside omelet rice?”
Jesse Lyu pointed out that R1 is compatible with all existing applications, and users don’t need to abandon any existing data. This indicates that the introduction of R1 aims to disrupt traditional apps, replacing the interaction between smartphone users and mobile apps with an AI operating system.
However, Jesse Lyu also emphasized that R1 cannot replace smartphones. Currently, R1 is just a new generation device.
The Ambition to “Eliminate” All Apps
Before Rabbit R1 became a sensation online, Rabbit had already gained some recognition in the AI community due to its funding, technology, and founder’s background.
In terms of funding, towards the end of last year, Rabbit announced three rounds of funding within two months, totaling $30 million. Investors included the “king of investment in the global tech sector,” Vinod Khosla, the first venture capitalist for OpenAI, and South Korean internet giant Kakao.
In 2023, Rabbit previewed its AI technology, Quantum Engine, allowing users to interact with NPC characters using natural language. This real-time generated interactive storytelling through AI quickly gained popularity, with users role-playing characters from “The Matrix” and “Empresses in the Palace.”
Another noteworthy aspect is the founder of Rabbit, Jesse Lyu, who comes with a significant reputation. In 2014, after graduating from college, he founded Raven Tech, initially creating a voice-controlled music player named “Flow.”
Subsequently, Raven started developing an operating system based on voice interaction. In 2016, Raven launched its first smart hardware, Raven H-1, featuring a modular design and essentially serving as a voice-controlled smart home control center.
In February 2017, Baidu announced the complete acquisition of Raven, with Jesse Lyu and his team joining Baidu. Jesse took on the role of General Manager for Baidu’s Smart Home Hardware division.
With increased financial support, Jesse continued refining Raven H-1, collaborating with the well-known Swedish design company Teenage Engineering for the first time. The recently released Rabbit is also designed by Teenage Engineering.
Over a year later, in June 2018, Jesse Lyu left Baidu. After departing from Baidu, Jesse, equipped with AI expertise, ventured to the United States and founded Cyber Manufacture Co., the predecessor of today’s Rabbit.
In Jesse’s view, the greatest potential of AGI lies in completely changing the interaction between humans and machines. This represents another platform-type opportunity for the AI race after large models. Following the emergence of large language models, the shift from “mouse clicks and finger touches for system interaction” to “driving system interaction through natural language conversations” is envisioned.
This idea received recognition from Vinod Khosla, assisting Rabbit in securing its initial funding.
Jesse Lyu believes that developing a new system, Rabbit OS, based on a large behavior model (LAM), not only enables understanding complex human intentions but also directly assists users in operating applications to complete tasks. This aims to replace the current touch interactions between users and mobile apps with AI-driven natural language interactions, further revolutionizing the efficiency and experience of human-machine interaction.
While LLM learns through text-based training, LAM learns directly from the interactive interfaces of applications. This capability difference between LLM, which understands human intentions, and LAM, which can genuinely operate to fulfill those intentions, is highlighted.
Jesse Lyu previously emphasized that overly redundant apps cause troubles for both consumers and developers. LAM, with the goal of ending this phenomenon, serves as the technological foundation for the next-generation operating system, Rabbit OS. This system can accurately understand user intentions through natural language conversations, autonomously find the most suitable applications for user needs, and directly complete the required operational steps for tasks.
“For users, all they need to do is speak in natural language or type to communicate with it,” Jesse Lyu said.