Rabbit CEO defends $200 AI Doohickey, says 'it's not an app'

Rabbit R1 Not many skills Your phone is already there. It does not send emails for you. It cannot set calendar reminders or alarms. It can't connect to any apps outside of a select four like Spotify, Uber, DoorDash, and Midjourney. All of those features may be coming in the future, but if you're wondering why this isn't just another AI app, some tech bloggers have managed to do just that by taking a leaked version of the Rabbit APK and running it relatively cheaply on Android. try Now Rabbit's CEO Jesse Lyu has come out to defend his $200 AI doohickey's “bespoke” code, which requires Rabbit's own hardware.

such as $700 humanoid AI back Before that, early reviews of the little orange Rabbit R1 and its AI assistant weren't exactly glowing. However, tech blogger Mishal Rahman has gone one step further Android Authority He said he and his team were able to get Rabbit's OS working on the Pixel 6 phone. It used the allegedly leaked Launcher APK, which Rahman was able to directly translate into an Android app.

Rabbit R1 on the phone

The Rabbit R1's screen is just 2.88 inches and has a low resolution that only appears in the top corner of the Pixel 6 phone's display. While it answers a basic question, Rahman didn't test whether Rabbit's vision or app functionality worked on mobile. However, the Android Authority said that they can log into a rabbithole account (the main account for your R1) and then connect to the same UI that Rabbit uses.

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Gizmodo reached out to Rabbit for comment on Wednesday morning ET, and we were directed to read Liu's statement:

“Rabbit R1 is not an Android app. We know there are some unofficial Rabbit OS app/web emulators out there. We understand the desire for people to get a taste of our AI and LAM instead of waiting for their r1 to arrive. To clear up any misunderstandings and set the record straight, Rapid OS and LAM run in the cloud with highly bespoke AOSP and lower level firmware modifications, so a local bootleg APK that lacks proper OS and cloud endpoints cannot be used. Access our service. Rabbit OS is customized for r1 and we do not support third party clients. After today's OTA, we implemented several cloud validation improvements to validate device/client requests. We reserve all rights for any malicious and illegal cyber security activities against our Services.

To unpack what this means, Rabbit says its device runs on modified Android open source project source code, and its OS runs from the cloud with firmware that does additional work on the device. By the looks of things, Rahman can access some Rabbit functions, which connect the device to cloud servers running AI models, though he can't access every Rabbit feature. A few hours after Rahman published his article Tweeted The Pixel 6 version of Rabbit will no longer be tethered, confirming Liu's statement about the new user verification requirements.

It is still unclear from where Rahman got the APK A connection For weeks they've been floating around wondering what the leaked Rabbit source code is. Those leakers called Rabbit's promise a “blatant lie,” saying that the device simply ran multiple automation scripts and that the app connection only ran on a single virtual machine.

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But let's ignore the Rabbit Android debate. That's not really the point. As Rahman said, tons of startups are getting their projects off the ground by relying on good AOSP with hardware that already supports the Android ecosystem. The Rabbit runs on the MediaTek Helio P35 MT6765, a five-year-old ARM-based mobile CPU that can support LGE Radio with 300 Mbps download speeds. Is that bad? No, not necessarily. The Rabbit isn't lying about what it's capable of, but the question we have to ask is whether it does anything it claims to justify the asking price.

The device costs only $200 compared to the $700 Humane pin, thanks to open-source software combined with low-cost hardware. The problem isn't that Rabbit is somehow fooling people with a fake phone, it seems that Rabbit should have waited before releasing its first product. Gizmodo found the device to have very poor battery life, but just yesterday—less than a week after its release—Rabbit claims to increase battery life several times over.

We've only had it for 24 hours at Gizmodo, and already we've found the device to be pretty underwhelming. It can answer basic questions and provide a bit more granularity than Siri on some queries. It has basic vision capabilities that can answer some questions about your environment, but even those features seem clunky. I turned it selfie-style and asked the rabbit to describe me. According to the Rabbit R1, I have a beard (perfect, A+, no tips) but it told me I was wearing a red shirt even though I was dressed in my standard black. It doesn't have any GPS, but it asks for your current zip code and confidently tells you that you're miles away from where you're standing. I would be very concerned about asking important information like where is the nearest hospital.

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Connecting to Spotify or other apps is a serious hassle, made worse by the fact that the main controls on the device are only your voice and a single button on the side. Ask it to skip a song it's listening to, and Rabbit will ask you which song you want to skip. The answer, obviously, is “I'm currently listening.”

My colleague Dua Rasheed will have his full thoughts on the Rabbit R1 this week, but after using it for a while, I can say that if it was an app, I wouldn't mind downloading it.

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