Car Thing: What is Spotify.com’s bizarrely named device?

Spotify Car Thing
A single-service car accessory that needs premium subscription. Pic credit: Photo Mix/Pixabay

Spotify has officially entered the hardware market. The subscription-based music streaming platform has launched the ‘Spotify Car Thing’ accessory.

As the name implies, Spotify Car Thing is a new smart accessory with a display for in-car music entertainment. The compact streaming device lets users listen to everything available on Spotify. The device, however, cannot function without a smartphone.

Spotify Car Thing specifications, features:

Spotify Car Thing is essentially a display with touch capabilities. The 3.97-inch touch screen has a 480×800 pixels resolution, a large dial, and a button on the front.

At the top, there are four preset buttons and a settings button. It has four near-field and mid-field mics with noise suppression capability to listen to voice commands. The microphones also have adaptive interference cancellation that attempts to isolate and prioritize voice over other sounds.

Car Thing relies on Bluetooth 4.2 to maintain a steady connection with a smartphone. It is compatible with iPhone running iOS 14 and above, and Android smartphone running Android v8 or above.

The accessory has a USB Type-C port to power it from the 12V power outlet that draws power from the vehicle’s battery.

Spotify Car Thing needs to be connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which in turn, needs to be connected to the car’s stereo using Bluetooth or an auxiliary port.

Users can mount the streaming device on the CD drive slot, on the dashboard, or on the air conditioning vents. There are specific attachments that help the device stay secure.

Needless to mention, users can speak out commands. Using the activation phrase “Hey Spotify”, users can ask Car Thing to play a song, album, artist, playlist, station, or podcast.

The dial offers simple functions such as play and pause. There’s also a touchscreen for controlling the playback.

Car Thing also allows users to make or receive calls, use navigation, get notifications, and more. The device, however, will need a connected smartphone to offer these functions.

Spotify Car Thing price, availability:

Spotify is offering Car Thing as an exclusive invite-only product to users in the US. The device itself is free for a limited time but customers must pay for shipping.

The anticipated retail price for Car Thing is $79.99. There is no information on international availability yet. Needless to add, users must subscribe to a Spotify Premium subscription to use Car Thing.

Customers on a free trial of Premium too stand to receive an invite. However, they will have to forfeit their remaining trial period to buy Car Thing.

Spotify claims there are over 70 million user-generated driving-related playlists on its platform. Hence, the Car Thing can reliably offer a dedicated way to experience music, news, entertainment, and more, while on the move.

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