Spotify has announced that its Car Thing experiment will be an official product shipped to select Spotify Premium customers.
Car Thing, a sadly chosen name for a streaming media player, works by syncing with your car’s stereo system, either via Bluetooth or with an included 3.5mm aux cable. The idea is that Car Thing will work with all older cars that do not use CarPlay or Android Auto and still rely on older headunits for their sound.
Once synced, Car Thing displays your favorite music, podcasts, playlists and trending content on Spotify, which can then be selected using touch buttons, the rotary knob, four speed dial buttons or the built-in voice assistant that can be called by saying “Hello Spotify”
The player is expected to cost $ 79.99 (around £ 60, AU $ 100) when available to the public, but Spotify will make it available for only $ 6.99 (shipping costs in the US) for Spotify Premium subscribers who sign up on Spotify’s website to get one in the restricted window. Unfortunately, it is only available in the US for a limited time, and Spotify has not yet announced global availability.
Spotify’s first hardware is … definitely something
Spotify published the announcement of Car Thing on its blog, emphasizing that the device was made in response to the problem that everyday users face – namely getting Spotify to play on older cars for their morning commute. To this end, Spotify says, do not expect it to become a hardware company overnight:
“Our focus remains on becoming the world’s leading audio platform – not on creating hardware – but we developed Car Thing because we saw a need from our users, many of whom missed a hassle-free and personal in-car listening experience.
“Regardless of the year or model of your vehicle, we feel that everyone should have a superior listening experience,” Spotify said in the blog post.
Admittedly, smartphones can do much of what Car Thing can – like playing music on Spotify using a voice assistant over Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable – but Spotify’s player is certainly a unique solution that gets a lot of style points.