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The exciting new Rabbit r1 AI gadget starts shipping next week

Published Mar 25th, 2024 12:34PM EDT
Rabbit r1 device announced at CES 2024.
Image: Rabbit

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Rabbit is a startup that stunned the world in early January with its surprising AI hardware announcement. The Rabbit r1 is a device similar to a smartphone, but it runs a different AI experience compared to what you know from ChatGPT, Copilot, Gemini, Claude, and other chatbots.

The Rabbit r1 will handle chats like ChatGPT, sure. However, its main selling point is a different type of AI experience. The r1 features a unique Large Action Model (LAM) that lets it interact with apps for you. You can tell the r1 to order an Uber, plan a trip, or even order for you. It can learn to use apps and services instead of only answering questions and generating text or images.

That’s the kind of feature I’d expect from any product with advanced AI features in the future. iPhone and Android handsets included. But until then, the Rabbit r1 can help get stuff done faster when it’s released on April 24th for $199. If you pre-ordered early, however, you’ll soon be able to start using your Rabbit r1. Preorders start shipping on Sunday, March 31st, though you’ll have to wait a while to get it.

Rabbit opened r1 preorders back in January, quickly selling out of the initial inventory. It had some 10,000 units ready for March shipping, with everything exceeding that amount set to ship later. Also of note, the initial batch of the Rabbit r1 unit was reserved for US buyers only. 

More than two months later, Rabbit provided updates on the r1 release date schedule. It turns out that Rabbit sold over 100,000 r1 units so far. Preorders are still available on its website at this link. But don’t expect to get them in mid-April when the first batch is delivered.

As for people who ordered early, Rabbit will indeed ship the first batch of r1 units on March 31st. That’s when they’ll leave the factory and head to the US. 

According to Rabbit, it’ll take a little over three weeks for the r1 to clear customs and get to its destination. Therefore, Rabbit estimates the r1 will reach the first batch of buyers on April 24th. That’s the gadget’s official release date.

Additionally, Rabbit r1 buyers near New York can attend a pickup party on April 23rd. Rabbit also posted information about that on X, offering an address and teasing that more details will come soon. 

Anyone planning to attend will get to use the Rabbit r1 at least a day earlier than anyone else. Remember that you’ll need an internet connection for it to work. The r1 supports SIM cards in addition to Wi-Fi, so you might want to get one ahead of time if you plan on using the gadget without a smartphone’s mobile hotspot while you’re on the go.

As for those Rabbit r1 fans who did not get their orders in fast enough to secure the April 24th ship date, you’ll have to wait for additional updates. Anyone else can still order a Rabbit r1, but you won’t get free access to Perplexity Premium, a Rabbit r1 perk reserved for the first 100,000 customers.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.