This "thing" does pretty much what you expect, reportedly plugging into your car's 12-volt power outlet/cigarette lighter to allow Spotify users to control their smartphone playlists and podcasts on the road in complete safety with voice commands only.
Spotify has started testing its first piece of hardware, a music player for your vehicle that the company has named "Car Thing" and which will apparently serve an even more important goal than going on sale as a mainstream consumer electronics gadget. It plugs into a your car's cigarette lighter and then connects to your phone and and auto via Bluetooth. The other side has buttons that can be used to access presets.
Spotify maintains that the tests of "Car Thing" don't mean it's making a major move into hardware, however. As such, it's certainly not shocking to see the 2006-founded Swedish company dip its toes into the consumer hardware world with an aptly (and amusingly) titled Car Thing device.
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Details on what Car Thing actually does beyond collect data for Spotify are a little thin on the ground. The users will also interact with the voice-controlled device by saying "Hey, Spotify". Spotify is only doing the "test" with a simple group of Premium users in the United States, and technical + pricing details about the device isn't being revealed.
Ever since its inception all those years ago, Spotify has focused exclusively on software. Car Thing was merely created to gain insight into how Spotify users listen in their cars, and at the moment, there are no plans to make this device commercially available.
Car Thing might not be the only piece of hardware Spotify has coming down the pipeline though.