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#linking-together
Title
# linking-together
p

Pietu

01/16/2024, 3:22 PM
https://www.rabbit.tech/keynote (demo starts at 7:33) shows an un-released portable personal-assistant device. There's a lot going on in the keynote, both in UI-wise, and how they demo and describe this "new kind" of device. Let me know if devices or product launches are not on topic here.
In a way, it feels like a re-imagining of a smartphone. Some things that caught my attention were: The actual design of the device. One button, one scrollwheel (reminiscient of ipod?). They also start strong, by asking the device
what is the nature of reality
and get a Russel quote back. Then, they compare its usage, to a walkie talkie
push a button, and talk. Like a walkie-talkie
which is fascinating. Walkie-talkies are not very common nowadays. Then they order an uber and pizza using the device, which is odd to me. It somewhat downplays the potential of the device, since this is something my smartphone can already do. All this gets me back to thinking "how do we demo a new kind of device". Food for thought.
j

Joe Nash

01/17/2024, 5:36 PM
I guess I would, with a somewhat critical hat on, ask if it is a new kind of device. Have we not been here and done that with the voice assistant hype of the 2010s? Does being based on an LLM rather than a Siri/Cortana/Alexa style command palette really do anything to resolve the reasons those devices stuck for only limited use cases (like setting timers)? The UX feels fundamentally the same to me, really. The only difference is it’s swapped one type of uncertainty for another: in Siri-era voice assistants, I would never be sure my request matched to a useful command. With LLMs, I’ll never be sure what it gives me in response isn’t garbage.
p

Pietu

01/17/2024, 5:48 PM
Indeed, hence "new kind" in quotes. The functionality is very much a subset of what a smartphone today can do. Then again, they market it as a new kind of device, which is emphasized by the fact that it looks like nothing else to me. I'm left wondering what the audience of this is. Should I replace my smartphone with it? Is it something to keep at home where it happens to be useful? > The UX feels fundamentally the same to me, really. Yes, with the important distinction that you can't fallback to setting the timer yourself. edit: i guess the same applies for alexa "can" and other devices.
j

Joe Nash

01/17/2024, 5:52 PM
> which is emphasized by the fact that it looks like nothing else to me there is one device it looks quite a lot like…the Playdate. They apparently consulted with Teenage Engineering on the r1, who designed the playdate’s hardware, and to me it feels a lot like TE has just sold them a barely modified playdate chassis. My pet theory on the scroll wheel is it’s another piece of plastic on the Playdate’s crank https://play.date/
p

Pietu

01/17/2024, 5:53 PM
Interesting. Should have checked the TE catalog.
j

Joe Nash

01/17/2024, 5:54 PM
The 360 camera is cool though, reminds me of the very early (and sadly doomed) Notion Ink Adam tablet
p

Pietu

01/17/2024, 5:57 PM
Also reminded me of this early LG flip phone with rotating camera.