March 19, 2024

The Rabbit R1 chronicles.

Chapter 11: The fun factor.

Is the Rabbit R1, too cute? Well, that’s likely to be what may make it a big success.

Rabbit recently did an ex-space discussion called Future of AI Hardware with titans of AI: Aravind Srinivas of Perplexity, Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, Bobak Tavangar of Brilliant Labs and journalist Robert Scoble. A lot was packed into that hour and half. But what I walked away with was Jesse Lyu’s explanation of how Rabbit R1 got its form factor. He equipped each of his crew a few devices, including a walkie-talkie. That concept is critical to Rabbit: You push a button to talk and someone on the other end of the device communicates back, essentially telling you what you want to know or confirming they’ve done something. The someone on the either end of Rabbit—just happens to be AI.

Rabbit’s cute factor was explained as well. Jesse talked about his love the Gameboy. And we have to remember that before iPhones were introduced in 2007, every male kid had a Gameboy. They were hand-size, cute and in bright colors. Jesse wanted to reclaim that feeling of holding a Gameboy in his hand as a kid and enlisted Teenage Engineering (behind the form factor of gameboyish Playdate) to design Rabbit R1. So the Rabbit brings back fond memories of a push-button device to the 35-year-old and is cute enough to make AI non-threatening for the 65-year-old. Fun for all ages? I guess, we’ll see.

Face it: Phones are not cute and for the most part were never designed to be. Elegant, but never adorable. And even though you’ve got your elegant phone in the other pocket, ultimately the most useful device you’re about to carry, may also be exceptionally cute.

Read the next chapter: It’s Android/not Android

Check out the Chronicles.


I have no affiliation with Rabbit Inc. I’m just an early adopter. If you want to support this journey into the Rabbit, buying me a coffee below helps keep the articles coming.


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Chapter 12: It’s Android/not Android. Rabbit is built on a mobile operating system called AOSP, Android Open Source Project. Oh, so it’s Android? Not really. Think of AOSP as the
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