Spotify is said to be exploring the launch of branded wearable, according to rumors floated by a “trusted source” at Zatz Not Funny. There’s little information out there at this early stage, though a job listing posted by the company does lend some validity to the project.
Based at the streaming service’s global headquarters in Stockholm, the position involves, among other things, “leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.”
The products listed offer some insight into what a device might entail – that last bit especially. Spectacles hit all the right notes for a hardware debut by a software brand, providing a template for what a product looks like when the stars align.
The product went beyond just hardware branding, filling in an interesting niche for the photo app by taking it beyond the confines of a smartphone. Hipster cachet and planned scarcity helped a bit, too.
Similarly, the Echo – and even the now-departed Pebble – point to some pretty grand ambitions for the device. Both served as proof of demand for new product categories. Which seems to imply that Spotify isn’t planning to simply slap its name on a fitness band and call it a day. Remember when Samsung branded MP3 players with the Napster logo? What’s that? You don’t?
Also worth noting from team Pebble is the Core. That product failed to surface due to the company’s own financial issues, as it was killed alongside the company’s new watches in the midst of FitBit’s acquisition of the startup. But the product at least pointed toward a category that has been neglected since hardware makers shifted focus away from MP3 players to smartphones.
Targeted specifically at runners, the device promised music playback and other functionality on a keychain, so people could leave their smartphone at home. We’ll never know how the product ultimately would have done, but it offered some interesting insight into how old product categories become new again as technology evolves.
Of course, the Core didn’t come anywhere near the promise of “affect[ing] the way the world experiences music & talk content,” but then, how often has a job listing really lived up to its promise? My first job out of college as an “editorial assistant” was 95-percent shipping boxes. But hey, I’m not bitter.
We’ve reached out to Spotify for comment on the listing/rumor, but I don’t really anticipate hearing much more than what’s already out there. This could well just be the early exploratory phase into the company’s “world affecting” hardware, and even without it, the job description points at integration with “fully-connected hardware devices,” and certainly the streaming company has been working hard to bring custom experiences to third-party products.
That alone would likely keep a new recruit busy for a while.