Rabbit r1, co-designed with Teenage Engineering, is a cute pocket AI assistant

Before the current craze of ChatGPT, image generators, and AI-powered services, the world was obsessed with personal assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. That fad has died down a bit, though mostly because these voice-controlled disembodied voices have become so common and so ubiquitous in many smart home devices these days. That said, most personal AI assistants can only be accessed either from a stationary device at home, such as a smart speaker or TV or from your smartphone, which means you can’t call on your digital friend when you’re outside and can’t pull your phone out. That’s the problem that the Rabbit r1 aims to solve by putting a smart, AI-powered personal assistant in a cute little gadget that feels like a Tamagotchi made for serious purposes.

Designers: Rabbit x Teenage Engineering

You wouldn’t immediately associate the Rabbit r1 with AI when you first see it. It initially looks like a simple toy with a pixelated rabbit that’s actually just a blocky head with long ears in a square orange device that fits in your hand nicely. That this rabbit head can show some expressions, blink, wink, or even wear headphones further cements its image as a toy, but it’s actually the face, or rather the head, of what may be the cutest AI assistant to grace the market.

The Rabbit r1 is basically a dedicated AI-powered assistant, formally marketed as “your pocket companion,” that makes the usual AI features more accessible by divorcing them from your phone or home speaker. The idea is that you’d simply pull this less conspicuous (if not for its bright orange color) device out of your pocket or bag, push and hold down a button to talk to the rabbit, and then wait for its response both on the screen as well as via audio. Rabbit OS, as the software platform is being called, seems plenty capable and can answer almost any question, and the rotating camera even does image recognition so you can identify viral personalities or get a suggestion on what to cook based on what you have in your fridge.

If the r1’s aesthetic looks familiar, then you might have recognized Teenage Engineering’s design DNA in it. The Swedish company is best known for its distinctive music-creation devices, and it is indeed the creative genius behind this pocket AI device’s equally distinctive design. Suffice it to say, you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in public using this device, especially in places where a smartphone would be even more impolite or impossible.

The Rabbit r1 is designed to be super simple to use, which is why it only has a single push button and an analog scroll wheel, though the screen is, of course, touch-enabled. In addition to the usual queries, Rabbit OS will also be able to connect with the same apps and services as typical AI assistants, though it’s still a work in progress. It seems that the concept and the design have resounded with many people and the initial batch of 10,000 pre-orders for this $199 sold out on the first day. Whether it will be able to deliver on its promise, we’ll have to wait for initial reviews to see, and hear.

This cute desk gadget concept gets you into a meditative state in a more fun way

Though there are still some who have a negative or incorrect opinion of it, meditation has become a much-recommended tool to fight off stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative mental states that, in turn, affect our health or productivity. There is even a growing business of meditation assistance services that help guide people toward a calmer state, often daily or maybe even more times in a day. Given the way these tidbits of meditation aids come in digital format, they’re often delivered through smartphones, which is a bit ironic considering these devices are often the cause of stress and distractions. Having a dedicated meditation device might sound overkill, but this rather interesting companion makes that a bit more worthwhile by showing you an adorable face to go along with your mood or the mood that you’re aiming for.

Designer: Pascal Grangier

Meditation services like Headspace and Calm are able to reach a large number of subscribers by offering their content through smartphones. It’s a very practical and convenient strategy that lets you get into a calmer head space anytime, anywhere. The drawback is that you might be tempted or distracted by the very smartphone you’re using to meditate, defeating the purpose of the exercise entirely.

The Headspace Companion is a design concept for a device that leads you into that same state in a more detached yet also more visually appealing way. It’s basically a toy-like device that stands on small feet, almost like a clock. But instead of a clock face, you get an actual digital face themed like clouds, the sun, veggies or fruits, and other objects you might not immediately associate with meditation. The style of both the device and the faces are cartoonish and almost comical, enough to bring a smile to your face every time you look at it.


The idea is for these faces to reflect your mental state, either based on your mood (probably taken from health sensors or services connected to the device) or just how much time has elapsed since your last meditation. The faces can be gloomy or even angry, while clouds can become darker as time passes. Once you start meditation, however, the character’s face, mood, and colors lighten up as well, reflecting what should be your mental state after the process. Just like on the app, you can set how much time you want to devote to meditation using a wooden wheel timer on its side.

Admittedly, the concept leaves a lot of the technical implementation up to the imagination, since it seems to focus mostly on the visual experience more than anything else. It’s still a rather interesting meditation device that almost literally gives a face to your emotions, a visualization that might even help some people face their problems and watch the same calm reflected on their own faces.

This cute chair transforms waste into beauty using recycled plastic bottles

The use of plastic in products has almost become so second nature that we spare no thought about how the material affects the environment in the long run. After all, there are plenty of benefits to plastic, such as its resilience, durability, and affordability, that we easily lose sight of long-term disadvantages. Fortunately, there are also more people who have become aware of this situation nowadays, and they have started to either move away from plastic completely or at least incorporate recycled plastics as much as possible. This chair is one of the latter, and while that in itself isn’t exactly extraordinary, the play of contrasting elements creates a harmonious composition that makes it look not only interesting but also welcoming.

Designer: Xingcheng Zhu

“XOX” might sound like an odd name for a chair, especially since it’s synonymous with a simple yet popular paper-and-pencil game. You immediately see the connection, however, when you view it from an angle and notice the two wooden X’s flanking the half-spherical shape that forms the chair’s seat and backrest. The choice of the name may have been based on that visual, but it also represents the very essence of the chair as a combination of contrasting elements.

While the standard design of a chair involves flat surfaces for the seat and backrest, the XOX Chair employs a hollow sphere that has a portion of it chopped off, forming the cavity for a person to sit inside. This circular shape sits in between the long, tubular legs of the chair, spindly in contrast to the fuller mass of the seat itself. Although the legs are the more visible part of the chair, their simpler and thinner forms draw your eyes immediately to the seat instead.

The materials used also contrast and complement each other. The legs are made of wood, a natural material whose grains create minute yet beautiful imperfections that give each piece a unique character. The middle component, however, is made from recycled PET bottles, resulting in a synthetic perfection with almost no blemishes. The seat is also completely transparent, giving it an airy and ethereal imagery that contrasts nicely with the solid and earthy tones of the legs.

This balance of elements yields a design that is both pleasing to look at and comfortable to use. Although it lacks the traditional armrests that add some support and stability to the body, the open spherical shape evokes feelings of openness and spaciousness, as if enveloping the person in protection and warmth. Best of all, it is also a design that is aware of the impact that furniture has on the planet’s health, implementing a sustainable solution that doesn’t compromise aesthetics and functionality in the process.

How Ugreen’s cute little robots charge your devices quickly and safely with GaNFast tech

Since the batteries that power our phones and laptops haven’t evolved considerably over the years, engineers and designers are instead pushing the boundaries of charging technologies, promising insane speeds without compromising users’ safety. After all, the less time you need to charge a device, the more you can get up and going again. With so many charges making the same promises these days, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options. Ugreen, however, has a new duo of chargers that utilize the latest GaNFast advancements to deliver speedy and safe charging, while also wrapping them in a package that looks downright adorable on your desk as well.

Designer: Neo Zhu

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GaN or gallium nitride is the new darling of the consumer electronics industry. It offers greater power efficiency compared to the typical silicon used in charging circuitry. Its application in GaNFast technology, specifically, brings better power conversion, less energy loss, and lower heat generation, resulting in faster charging, regardless of the device that’s connected. Ugreen’s new Nexode RG GaN chargers put this already impressive technology into a form that will delight buyers and even enhance the user experience.

The Ugreen Nexode RG 30W, as the name suggests, offers 30 watts of power that’s enough to revive a dead iPhone 14 Pro Max and bring it up to 51% in just 30 minutes. The Ugreen Nexode RG 65W takes that capability to the next level with a 60-watt output, topping off that same iPhone up to 60% in half an hour. It even has enough power to take a MacBook Pro from zero to 70% in just an hour. The Nexode RG 65W even has 2 USB-C ports and 1 USB-A port to really maximize the power. Both chargers support the most popular charging protocols used today, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility.

What makes the Nexode RG GaN chargers really different is their distinctive designs, taking the form of a small, cute, and playful little robot. It doesn’t take more space than a typical charging brick, because you remove the robot’s feet to reveal the actual plugs inside. The design isn’t just for show either. The Nexode RG GaN features an LED mini-smart screen that shows the charging status at a glance without even having to look at each connected device. The robot’s face tells it all, showing a reassuring smile when your device is full.

The Ugreen Nexode RG GaN chargers aren’t just about speed, though. Their advanced Thermal Guard systems monitor temperatures in real-time to prevent overheating, overcharging, and overcurrent. The use of GaNFast technology also helps build a better and greener tomorrow, thanks to reducing energy waste from power loss as well as reducing overall CO2 production. With the Ugreen Nexode RG 30W and 65W GaN chargers, you are getting the best charging technology the industry has to offer in a cute design that is sure to bring a smile to your face.

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