×

Spotify Starts Testing In-Car Hardware

Spotify is carefully taking a first step into the consumer hardware space: The company has begun to test a new in-car device that lets users access music and podcasts with voice commands, it revealed in a blog post Friday morning.

“Car Thing,” as the device is being called for now, is only being tested in the U.S., with a small group of invited premium subscribers. In its blog post, Spotify made sure to point out that it wasn’t about to go crazy with hardware.

“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,” the company said. “Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform — not on creating hardware.”

Spotify didn’t release any specs about the device, but Car Thing seems to be a small audio adapter that connects to the car stereo system via Bluetooth, and streams music and podcasts from Spotify via a nearby phone.

The device has a small screen, as well as multiple buttons, and integrated far-field microphones for voice control. It plugs into a cigarette lighter plug for power.

While Spotify was downplaying its hardware ambitions Friday, it also hinted at plans to explore other form factors. “We might do similar voice-specific tests in the future, so don’t be surprised if you hear about ‘Voice Thing’ and ‘Home Thing,'” the company wrote on its blog.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • AT&T TV

    AT&T TV: An Unskinny Streaming Bundle That Looks a Lot Like Traditional Pay TV

    AT&T this week launched AT&T TV, a new subscription streaming television service that uses an Android-based internet set-top, in 10 markets. But the way it’s priced and packaged looks very similar to cable and satellite TV services — in other words, AT&T TV isn’t targeted at the cord-cutter crowd. It’s basically designed as a way [...]

  • Sofia Wylie arrives at Variety's Power

    Disney Channel Enlists Duplass Brothers for YouTube Hip-Hop Dance Series Starring Sofia Wylie

    Disney Channel’s first original scripted series made exclusively for release on YouTube is “Shook,” a hip-hop dance short-form series starring Sofia Wylie, produced by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass. “Shook” will debut Saturday, Sept. 28, on Disney Channel’s YouTube channel. The scripted single-camera show centers on 15-year-old Mia (Wylie), who yearns to dance professionally but [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Is Getting Rid of Messaging Feature

    YouTube is killing off a feature that allowed users to share videos and other messages with each other. YouTube Messages, which was first introduced in January of 2017, will be turned off by September 18, the company announced this week. “We’re constantly reevaluating our priorities and have decided to discontinue YouTube’s native direct messaging feature [...]

  • Yara Shahidi

    Audible Teams Up With Big Names as Audio-Only Storytelling Expands

    Hobnobbing with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Kate McKinnon and Yara Shahidi isn’t typically the gloss applied to the cerebral audiobook set, but Audible is putting the humble audio story through its own movie-makeover montage, inking high-profile development deals with entertainment names like “The Walking Dead” comics creator Skybound Entertainment, Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Lorne [...]

  • Geneva Wasserman

    Condé Nast Taps Film Veteran Geneva Wasserman as SVP of Motion Pictures

    Condé Nast Entertainment hired Geneva Wasserman as senior vice president of motion pictures, overseeing development of the media company’s slate of feature film properties. Wasserman, a nearly 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, most recently served as co-founder and executive producer of production firm Project Z Entertainment. She takes over the role at CNE after [...]

  • A view of the SK Telecom

    Korean Regulators Approve Four-Way Streaming Merger

    South Korean regulators have approved the merger of the video services of three local broadcasters and SK Telecom’s streaming app Oksusu. The new service, operating under the name Wavve will launch in September and be Korea’s largest. Proposed in January as a measure to combat the incursion of international video players, the deal was given [...]

  • siriusxm on playstation

    SiriusXM Announces $4 Streaming Plan for Students

    SiriusXM took another step towards taking its subscription service past the car Tuesday: The company announced a new student subscription tier that gives eligible college students access to music and talk radio stations on their mobile and connected devices for $4 per month. Some of the content available for this price includes SiriusXM’s more than [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content