33-17, Q Sentral.

2A, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur Sentral,

50470 Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur


Just Give It a Go!

Meet the Rabbit R1—this small, bright orange gadget with a big screen is something you definitely won’t lose in your handbag. It feels like something from a bygone era with its physical button and scroll wheel. It even has a camera that moves back and forth with a satisfying click! Plus, it’s pretty affordable at £159, and you don’t need to pay for any subscription.

So, what’s it good for? Basically, you can ask it things. That’s pretty much it right now. It doesn’t do social media, messages, online shopping, track your health, or help with your banking. You can log into your Spotify or Apple Music, but don’t expect much from the speaker. Oddly enough, it also connects to Midjourney, an AI for creating images.

The Rabbit R1 is decent at fetching basic info online. It told me the time, the weather, and even directions to my son’s school after I shared my location. It translated some German phrases and even listed the top 20 chess players of 2024 from, outdoing Amazon’s Echo which mistakenly thought Garry Kasparov was still competing. It avoided weird conspiracy theories and gave election predictions from recent polls.

Can It Even Find Coffee?

It showed me photos of my workplace at BBC Scotland in Glasgow but totally flopped when I needed a coffee shop. The first time it just crashed after a long wait. When I tried again, it did give me some coffee shops, but they were too far, closed down, or just nonexistent. It missed several nearby chain options.

Its camera can sometimes describe what it sees, but it gets things wrong a lot. It mistook white peonies for yellow chrysanthemums and poppadoms for tortilla chips. It described me as an “older woman” (that was a bit of a shock) and said my son, who was making an angry face, looked friendly. In just an hour, it used up over 20% of its battery. All your data ends up in a cloud account called your Rabbithole, which you can’t even access on the device.

The Rabbit R1 has also been criticized as just a fancy Android app, and there’s been news of techies managing to get it running on a regular Google phone. Rabbit insists its tech is unique, though. The company behind it, previously involved in NFTs, has faced some criticism for not keeping promises to its investors, according to online allegations. Rabbit, however, highlights its founder’s entrepreneurial background and the fresh team working on the project.

Final Thoughts

After testing it out, I think the Rabbit R1 is fun but not yet a game-changer. It doesn’t do anything new or better than what my phone or I can do ourselves. Reviewers have called it “half-baked” and a “failure” at many things. Even Marques Brownlee found it barely worth reviewing. But the company is hopeful, seeing these challenges as motivation to improve.

Jesse Lyu, the founder, says their start-up’s focus is on survival and growth, not winning right off the bat. And despite the tough reviews, we’re likely to see more AI gadgets like this. Ben Wood from CCS Insight thinks smartphones will still be ahead but will integrate many of these AI features.

So, the Rabbit R1? It’s made me appreciate my smartphone even more. My phone already does everything the R1 can, only faster and more intuitively.

Carefree Woman Dancing to Smart Speaker at Home

Frequently Asked Questions About the Rabbit R1

  1. What exactly can the Rabbit R1 do?
    The Rabbit R1 is basically like a friendly helper that can fetch information for you. You can ask it to tell you the time, the weather, or even get directions somewhere—like I did when I needed to find my son’s school. It can translate phrases and answer questions about things like the top chess players. But remember, it’s not into social media or other apps like messaging and shopping just yet. It’s like having a buddy who knows a lot of facts but isn’t the best at everyday tasks.
  2. Why is the Rabbit R1 considered a work in progress?
    Well, while it’s super exciting to try out new tech, the Rabbit R1 still has a ways to go. It tends to make mistakes, like confusing flowers or snacks for something else, and sometimes it can’t find things that are right nearby—like my hunt for a coffee shop near work. It’s like that friend who’s really trying but doesn’t always get things right. The company behind it knows this and sees all the feedback as a chance to keep improving. They’re committed to making it better over time.
  3. Is the Rabbit R1 worth buying right now?
    If you love being on the cutting edge and trying new gadgets, you might enjoy the Rabbit R1. It’s kind of fun to play around with, especially with its quirky design and features. However, if you’re looking for something that can do a lot more and work smoothly all the time, you might want to stick with your smartphone for now. The Rabbit R1 is a cool concept, but it might be better to wait and see how it evolves before you consider replacing anything else with it.

Sources BBC

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