Spotify is starting to test a voice-controlled smart assistant for cars. It is their first hardware they have produced and tested. Spotify wants to learn more about how people consume audio while driving.
Car Thing is what the device is called. Some premium members will be given the device for free as part of the test. They will plug the device into their car’s 12-voltage outlet, which will allow for connection with the car and through the phone’s Bluetooth. By saying “Hello Spotify”, users will be able to active the device. They will be able to request what they want to listen on their connected Spotify playlists.
The testing of this device is currently only taking place in the United States. Spotify will be in contact with people that they want to test it out. The testing stage length is up in the air, according to a close source to Spotify.
Spotify explained in a blog post that they hope to learn more about how people listen to audio in their car with this new device. They say their focus “remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform — not on creating hardware”, even though this new device is a hardware device. They just hope to learn more about the in-car experience by running this test.
Spotify has already started trying to learn more about in-car experiences by their integration with Waze and their driving mode on Spotify. Car Thing is being tested to hopefully learn more about the experience.
Spotify is also hoping to use Car Thing to help promote their $500 million upgrade and addition of major podcast networks. Since listening to podcasts while driving is very popular, Car Thing would be perfect to help with promoting this.