Rabbit partners with ElevenLabs to power voice commands on its device

Hardware maker Rabbit has tapped a partnership with ElevenLabs to power voice commands on its devices. Rabbit is set to ship the first set of r1 devices next month after getting a ton of attention at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the start of the year.

The Rabbit r1 will ship with ElevenLabs’ tech, which will enable voice commands from the users and how the pocket AI device talks back to them. At the launch, the feature will be available only in English with one voice option. ElevenLabs said that while r1 was poised for voice interaction from the start, the company’s low latency models will make interactions more human-like.

“We’re working with rabbit to bring the future of human-device interaction closer. Our collaboration is about making the r1 a truly dynamic co-pilot, ” ElevenLabs’ CEO Mati Staniszewski said in a prepared statement.

In January, Rabbit said that it will use Perplexity AI’s solutions to answer users’ questions on the device.

Earlier this week, Rabbit said that its first batch of $199 r1s will leave the factory by March 31, and will reach users within a few weeks. The company said users will be able to interact with chatbots, get answers from Perplexity, use bi-directional translation, order rides and foods, and play music through the device right out of the box.

The company’s CEO Jesse Lyu said earlier this month at a StrictlyVC event that rabbit is close to having 100,000 device orders.

Earlier this year, ElevenLabs raised $80 million in Series B from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, and entrepreneur Daniel Gross to get to the unicorn status. The company has been focusing on providing voice cloning services for creating audiobooks, dubbing movies and TV shows, ads, and video game characters. Most recently, India’s audio platform PocketFM, which raised $103 million from Lightspeed, said that it is using ElevenLabs’ services to let creators convert their writings into audio series.

But ElevenLabs’ has faced its fair share of criticism with users trying to fool a bank’s authentication system, 4chan users mimicking celebrities, and journalists documenting that it is easy to set up voice clones to generate problematic content. The startup has rolled out a tool to detect speech created by its platform and is also working on a tool to detect synthesized audio and distribute it to third parties.

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