Spotify is testing a voice-controlled in-car device for music and podcast listening.
In what might be a nod to Dr. Seuss nomenclature, the gadget is named “Car Thing,” and was rolled out on Friday (May 17). According to a post in the streaming platform’s blog Newsroom, Americans spend 70 billion hours in their automobiles each year, and Spotify wants to learn how they listen behind the wheel.
Car Thing will be tested in the U.S. only, with a small cohort of select Spotify Premium users. There are no plans to make this specific device available more broadly, but similar programs may be rolled out in the future, including “Voice Thing” and “Home Thing.”
News of this initiative — which marks Spotify’s first foray into hardware development — was first revealed earlier this year by the Financial Times. According to these early reports, Car Thing will likely connect to the car dashboard using Bluetooth technology, with preset icons for often-used playlists not unlike how car radios have preset buttons for radio stations that are listened to regularly. Electronics manufacturer Flex will reportedly be the device’s maker.