For anyone following Spotify, this no doubt felt like an inevitably. As the streaming service looks to diversify, the company’s already had some loose partnerships with hardware companies like Mighty. Now it’s looking to build its own thing.
That thing being “Car Thing.”
The piece of automotive hardware isn’t a consumer device exactly. Spotify is actually just using it to study subscribers’ in-car listening habits. The voice-controlled product will be offered up to “a small group of invited Spotify Premium users” in the U.S. who will be getting a comped subscription in return.
It’s a voice-controlled product that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter — and it’s apparently just the beginning of this kind of public beta user testing. “We might do similar voice-specific tests in the future,” Spotify explains, “so don’t be surprised if you hear about ‘Voice Thing’ and ‘Home Thing.’ ”
The testing will be starting in “the coming weeks,” per The Verge. Spotify is no doubt looking to address rumors about its own hardware ambitions by discussing these tests publicly. If things go well, however, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see these sorts of products being made available in a car or home near you.