The Rabbit R1 is just an Android app

The Rabbit R1 is just an Android app

There's been a lot of talk about the Rabbit R1. Fuelled by more hype than substance, the cute little Teenage Engineering designed gadget has been savaged in the press this week, particularly by MKBHD.

As Marques Brownlee says in his review, the R1 has a low price, and an even lower battery life, requiring multiple charges a day. It also straight up lies to you about basic observations. Which is fine. Everyone but tech-bro grifters already knows that's going to happen from time to time with LLMs.

But as you can see in the video above, it turns out the device really could have just been an app after all. Android Authority managed to download and run the app on a regular Google Pixel 6A. And while it doesn't exactly work as well as it might on the real hardware, it still appears to run fine and even answer questions.

As we saw with the launch of Humane's Ai Pin, Rabbit's CEO is keen to play the victim after seeing negative reviews. Just like the crypto hype-beasts before them, the overpromising of AI has started to catch up to some of these founders.

Which begs the question: why not just state the facts in the first place? This isn't the first tech category to have a rough start, but the difference is Apple wasn't claiming the iPhone was a DSLR when it launched. Microsoft didn't claim the Xbox was a supercomputer. Google didn't pretend that Gmail wasn't just a great web-based email client with a lot of storage for the time. I was definitely inspired by this tweet in this observation:

In its current state, AI is just being given the same runway that crypto got in terms of "potential". While in reality, either these tech founders are lying to us or lying to themselves about what these products are capable of. Just ship a nice little orange MP3 player that can sometimes tell you who the actor is in a movie and be done with it. I honestly would have bought that.

Instead, after US$30m+ of funding, all we get is another cute little gizmo that doesn't live up to what its founders promised.