There’s no question about it: the playful-looking Rabbit r1 device unveiled during CES 2024 is one of the most exciting gadgets that debuted at the show. And yes, the Rabbit r1 is an AI-powered device since practically everything at CES this year involved AI. But this one does things very differently than ChatGPT and similar generative AI services.
Rather than only trying to answer questions and create content, the r1 does something no ChatGPT variant can do. r1 performs tasks in apps for you and can learn additional behaviors. The r1 demo was enough for Rabbit to sell out its initial batch of r1 units. The first run of r1 devices will ship out in the coming months, so there’s a bit of a wait left.
You can still preorder the device, and now there’s another reason to hurry and do it. The first 100,000 purchases will come with the premium version of Perplexity. It’s an intriguing AI app that’s been available on mobile devices for quite a while. Perplexity Pro normally costs $20 per month and offers access to the latest LLMs, including ChatGPT’s GPT-4.
The r1 is different from ChatGPT because it can perform tasks like placing an order online, booking a car-sharing ride, or a full family vacation. But it also behaves just like ChatGPT when you have questions that AI can address.
You’ll want the best possible LLM to handle those questions, and that’s where Perplexity comes in. It’s an AI app I still have installed on my iPhone, having tested it from its early days. It has a clean interface, it works fast, and it provides references for its answers.
Admittedly, I haven’t used Perplexity as much recently, as ChatGPT Plus is my go-to for AI nowadays. It’s still a great app to have on iPhone. That’s why the Rabbit r1 partnership makes me even more curious to try the device.
Interestingly, Rabbit did not focus on the LLMs that will power the r1 tech during the demo, choosing instead to showcase its “large action model” (LAM) that allows the r1 to interact with apps.
But, a few weeks later, Rabbit and Perplexity announced the joint partnership on social media. Perplexity’s CEO Aravind Srinivas said on Twitter/X that Perplexity AI will power the Rabbit r1 for “providing live up to date answers without any knowledge cutoff.” He added that the first 100,000 purchases will come with one free year of Perplexity Pro.
The free Perplexity Plus subscription is worth more than the device itself, considering the Rabbit r1 only costs $199. And it’s one more reason to get the device early. Even if the LAM doesn’t work for you, you’d at least get a year of Perplexity Plus, which gets you GPT-4 access from a phone-like device that’s not actually a phone.
Perplexity will be just one of the “leading LLMs” that will power the r1 experience, according to Rabbit.