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Spotify to launch in-car listening device, but only for research purposes

By | Published on Monday 20 May 2019

Spotify Car Thing

Spotify is about to start testing a Car Thing. And if you think that’s CMU being tediously (and predictably) glib about the market-leading streaming firm’s first big move into hardware, then you’d be tediously (and predictably) wrong.

Spotify’s first hardware gizmo actually goes by the rather understated name of Car Thing. Possibly because the company is trying very hard to play down suggestions that this voice-activated in-car device is Spotify’s first big move into hardware.

“While we know there has been some speculation about our future plans”, Spotify wrote on Friday, referencing frequent chatter to the effect that it is planning a move into streaming gadgets, “Car Thing was developed to help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts”. Please note, Spotify then added, that “our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform – not on creating hardware”.

Certain Spotify users in the US will be approached about using the Car Thing as part of a test project, in doing so letting the streaming firm learn about their in-car listening habits. In its blog post Spotify also admitted that a Voice Thing and a Home Thing might follow (word has it trademark applications for all these Things have been filed). But it still wants us to know that these gadgets are all about research and development.

For now at least. Because these pilots will only heighten that speculation that Spotify is in fact planning to enter the consumer electronics space at some point in the future. Such speculation, you see, is the Inevitable Thing.