To help people enjoy audio while driving, Swedish music streaming giant Spotify is testing its first hardware – a voice-controlled smart assistant for cars called “Car Thing” – in the US. Also Read - Spotify launches video podcasts for all users: All you need to know
“While we know there has been some speculation about our future plans, ‘Car Thing’ was developed to help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts. Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform, not on creating hardware,” Spotify said in a blog-post on Friday. Also Read - Netflix reportedly testing out a new experimental layout for TVs
The device plugs into a vehicle’s 12-volt outlet for power and connects to both a person’s car and phone over Bluetooth. The wake word for the device as planned is “Hey Spotify”, which, followed by a song request would allow users to access their playlists and listen to their favourite songs, The Verge reported. Also Read - Netflix adds new shuffle button for some users to suggest similar content
“Car Thing” is designed with a circular screen on one side, to display what is being played, and on the other side are a series of buttons that can be used to access playlist presets. The test is supposed to include a small group of people and as part of the test, some premium users would receive the device for free. “We don’t have any current plans to make this specific device available to consumers, but the learnings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen,” Spotify added in its post.