Spotify launches its first hardware test: a voice-controlled advanced assistant for cars to help Spotify learn how people drive while driving. During the test, some Premium users will get the device for free
A device called Car Thing is connected to a vehicle's 12-volt socket (also known as a cigarette lighter) that connects to a person by car and Bluetooth. The device can be turned on by saying "Hey, Spotify," followed by asking what the person wants to hear. It will be linked to the user's Spotify account so that they can access their playlists.
The theme of the car includes a circular display on one side that shows what is playing. The other side is a series of buttons for accessing the playlist settings.
A test that will be small and will start in a few weeks will only take place in the US now, and Spotify will reach the people it is considering. A source close to Spotify says the team doesn't have the time to run the test, and that there are no intentions to launch this device more widely or to the public.
Spotify says Car Thing was designed to "help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts". And despite the fact that it is hardware, Spotify says "the focus is on becoming the world's leading audio platform ̵
. However, the source says Spotify has not only tagged Car Thing, but and Voice Thing and Home Thing titles that show that Spotify may be interested in creating a smart home speaker or at least trying out a test
This source says Spotify is carrying out a Car Thing test to find out more about car experience. Spotify already has access to some data about its users' behavior while driving – the team has integration with Waze as well as driving mode, so of course the program knows when something is in the car and what they use. However, if someone plays music through a support cable, via Bluetooth or another third-party program, Spotify may not know the context of the listening session; The subject of the car could change that.
We've seen Car Thing's advice in recent years. Month of January. The Financial Times reported that Spotify is planning a car device that was enabled through the Hey, Spotify command. However, at that time, the document states that the device will cost about $ 100. My source says Car Thing has already tried testing, but today it means starting a larger group test
Spotify is clearly playing to understand all aspects of a user day that could help a team create new products or even provide insights about it what is green light, especially when it comes to the podcast. This year, Spotify intends to release up to 500 million podcasts. US Dollars – The company has acquired several major podcasts and redesigns its program to make broadcasts more accessible. A car is a natural place to advertise this new content.
Every major technology company has its own car interface. September. Amazon introduced Echo Auto, a device that brings Alexa's smart assistant to the vehicle. It is currently only available for $ 24.99 for an invitation, but will eventually be retail for $ 49.99. Meanwhile, Google only posted the Google Assistant driving mode. Google and Apple also have software that can change the interface between the car's information and entertainment system.
While advanced auxiliary companies want access to driver car data, manufacturers are developing their own smart assistants and voice controls. However, 76 percent of JD Power surveyed. Car owners said they were interested in having the same brand voice assistant at home and in their car. Spotify may face mountain battles if it wants to convince its users to give up the assistant they are already using to make it smoother from their Spotify account.
Correction May 17, 11:42 am ET:  Due to editing error, this story originally said that the Spotify test will begin today. It will start in the coming weeks