Two of the most popular AI hardware have been dismantled for the first time in the world: Rabbit R1 was revealed to be in a case and then overturned, and the Ai Pin looks like a smart watch after being peeled off?

Estimated read time 10 min read

AI hardware that claims to overturn mobile phones seems to be unable to escape the fate of “overturning on its first debut”.

Ai Pin, a new species of AI hardware, has been ridiculed as beautiful waste. Rabbit R1, which is said to be a revolutionary app, may be secretly a shell Android app? The AI ​​on the popular fried chicken Ray-Ban Meta looks more like a buy-one-get-one-free bonus…

In particular, Ai Pin and Rabbit R1, which are known as native AI hardware, are not so much experimental semi-finished products with incomplete functions, but more suggestive of a rush for quick success and instant benefit based on conceptual hype. It has also appeared in popular concepts such as NFT.

Recently, iFixit, a world-renowned dismantling organization, completely opened up the Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 from the inside out, revealing the true features of these two recently popular AI hardware to the world.

If you peel off the Ai Pin, is it just a smart watch?

The experience of Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 is unsatisfactory, and the hardware has already been buried.

Faced with the Rabbit R1, which couldn’t even find a single screw on its surface, iFixit used the most familiar old method – heating.

Friendly tip from iFixit: Don’t forget to apply some isopropyl alcohol to the edges before trying to open the back cover. This will help soften the adhesive, making the process as smooth as peeling a banana.

After successfully opening the back cover of Rabbit R1, the structure inside was beyond iFixit’s expectations. The combination of motors and gears gave people a steampunk style feeling.

And when that piece is only 3.85 watts, the battery that is firmly glued to the back panel comes into view. iFixit looked at it and couldn’t help complaining: If Rabbit R1 wants to be a competent AI companion, it must use more power.

The subsequent disassembly process can be described as simple and rough, with crazy disassembly and twisting. As the screws are removed one by one, the true features of the camera, motor, speaker and other components are also revealed one after another.

iFixit accidentally discovered during the disassembly process that there is a tactile motor hidden under the speaker, which is tightly attached to the front half of the case, and the button on the roller is actually a metal shaft that can be pulled out as a whole. Can be taken out easily.

Finally, iFixit conducted a detailed inspection of the motherboard. Although the motherboard is responsible for the “big housekeeper” of device operation and processing, the Large Action Model (LAM) is not deployed on the motherboard, but runs in the cloud.

Immediately afterwards, Ai Pin also “could not escape”. After experiencing the dual “torture” of heating and violence, its internal structure was revealed to us. If you take a closer look, you will find that its internal structure seems to be somewhat related to the Apple Watch.

Similar to the Rabbit R1, the Ai Pin’s motherboard is also responsible for running the device, but core data processing still relies on the cloud, which means that once the network is gone, the Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 can become just a display.

The battery structure of Ai Pin adopts a split design, consisting of an internal battery and an external battery.

The internal battery is designed with a lithium battery, and its capacity is similar to the Apple Watch battery parameters. The external battery is a magnetic clip that can be adsorbed/clamped on the inside of clothes. Users can replace the clip at any time to achieve all-weather operation of the Ai Pin.

Of course, the premise is that you have to bear the “enthusiasm” of Ai Pin.

iFixit had a relatively difficult time disassembling the internal battery. After removing all T2-type screws, in order to avoid unnecessary damage, iFixit needs to use solvent to soften the adhesive, and then carefully remove the internal battery, which is only 1.087 watt hours.

Subsequently, components such as wireless charging coils, speakers, microphones, laser projectors, cameras, etc. were also removed one by one.

As for the external battery, its opening method is as simple as it gets—just pry off the top. Once the top cover is removed, the wireless charging coil, magnets, and screws are revealed one by one.

Not surprisingly, the Ai Pin’s battery is only 1.79 watt hours, which is less than a fraction of an ordinary smartphone battery.

iFixit, which puts repairability first, specifically pointed out that the battery replacement process of these two devices is cumbersome because the battery is hidden under an adhesive panel that is difficult to remove. During the repair process, if you are not careful, It became a “dead soul under the sword”.

In the early years, the Electronic Products Repairability Act of Washington State in the United States stipulated that gluing mobile phone batteries to the motherboard increased the difficulty of disassembly and repair, and was not in line with the principles of environmental protection and reuse. Therefore, the battery must be Removable and replaceable.

Generally speaking, lithium batteries can support about 400 cycles, but for these AI hardware, it may not be long before users have to say “goodbye” to these batteries due to rapid performance decline.

Obviously, Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 have made great efforts in terms of aesthetics, but they are not yet ready in terms of detachable design.

It is worth mentioning that at the end of the dismantling video, iFixit pointedly complained that the birth of Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 was like something that could have been solved with an email, but it was turned into an online event. Meeting.

The implication is that things that can be done with a simple app have to be made so complicated.

No surprises, just bad

The first two are more like scientific experiments than finished products, while the latter (Ray-Ban Meta) is currently the most ideal AI hardware.

Wall Street Journal editor Joanna Stern recently came to the above conclusion after reviewing the current three popular AI hardware. Coincidentally, the standard recognition capabilities are exactly the greatest common denominator of these AI hardware.

The three AI hardware companies all promise that their AI hardware can use cameras to see and listen, and then try to help users analyze what they see and give answers.

As soon as Joanna Stern got the three AI hardware, she couldn’t wait to arrange a “big test” on visual recognition for them.

Her first stop was the Bideawee Pet Adoption Center in New York City. Here, although Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 can recognize that the “furry” in front of them is a cat, when asked about the specific breed, they can only scratch their heads and ears.

The honest Rabbit R1 admitted that he could not identify the specific breed, but still took a bold guess. Meta not only guessed the breed of cats, but also successfully identified the breeds of puppies.

The poor battery life of the Rabbit R1 has been a recurring topic.

In the blink of an eye, it consumes 35% of the battery. The AI ​​companion that claims to accompany you all day may not last even half a day.

Joanna Stern complained that the Ai Pin looks cool and has complicated gesture operations, but its outdoor-visible screen is designed more for showing off than for practicality.

Both Ai Pin and Rabbit R1 claim to support real-time translation in multiple languages, but in a test at a Manhattan Chinese school, a simple sentence of “Where is the toilet?” caused Rabbit R1 to freeze for nearly four minutes.

In comparison, Ai Pin behaved more like a true translator when faced with the same problem, until it suddenly changed to “I’m allergic to peanuts, are there peanuts in the soup bag?” A “big fan” of Spanish.

When Joanna Stern asked again for translation into Chinese, Ai Pin was still stubbornly stuck in Spanish. When the waiter in turn asked for translation from Chinese into English, Ai Pin was able to complete the task successfully.

In terms of real-time recognition, Ray-Ban Meta, which can “see but not speak”, also encountered problems. It mistook the Chinese word “shrimp” for “tree”, which was far inferior to the Samsung S24’s casual recognition capabilities.

In terms of daily auxiliary functions, Meta has the best response speed and effect. It can quickly give suggestions, such as reminding users to apply fertilizer to tulips.

There were some hiccups with the Uber service when trying to hail a cab using the Rabbit R1, but to be fair, the vehicle eventually arrived. When Joanna Stern asked it to play Taylor Swift’s new album, the Rabbit Rabbit R1 played old songs from 2006.

These problems that appeared in previous reviews also appeared in Joanna Stern’s review. Therefore, she also expressed her longing:

The beauty of AI hardware is that they allow us to interact like humans, rather than technology that frustrates us all the time.

But after all, vision and reality are two different things. Most of the pigs in the spotlight are just trying to get the spotlight. If they really encounter trouble, it will be another price.

Take Rabbit R1 as an example. Considering Apple and Google’s strict control over the App Store, it is almost impossible for them to allow an app that can call other apps at will to be put on the shelves.

What’s more, this form itself doesn’t have much of a moat. Lu Cheng, founder of Rabbit Company, once said that the purpose of building Rabbit R1 as an independent device is to protect its unique AI model from being easily copied, and to make it easier to stand out in the fierce consumer market.

In addition, in this capital market, in order to attract the attention of investors and consumers, fresh and complex stories must be told to make the AI ​​business sexier.

When it was first released in January, Lu Cheng set a conservative target for the pre-sale activity of Rabbit R1 – 3,000 units. One day later, the first batch of 10,000 Rabbit R1 units was booked. In just 3 months, Rabbit R1 sales exceeded 100,000, becoming the hottest AI hardware on the market.

It is worth mentioning that netizen @Andyparackal recently broke the news that the predecessor of Rabbit, founded in 2021, was originally a startup company with NFT as its main business direction. It once launched a game that required pre-payment to purchase NFT-GAMA.

However, with the advent of the generative AI wave, Rabbit changed its identity at the end of last year and devoted itself to AI hardware projects, leaving a large group of paying users in disarray.

Lu Cheng also gave the latest response to this. He has completely “broken up” with these NFT projects and made a clean break. Now, he only has Rabbit in his heart, and Rabbit will never have anything to do with NFT projects, whether in the past or in the future.

But as The Verge said when reviewing Rabbit R1, Rabbit R1 seems to perform well enough, but we have to wait for it to fulfill the big pie it has “painted”.

AI hardware may be the future, but as a consumer, there is no reason at any time to pay for a semi-finished product with a poor experience at a price that is not cheap.

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