Currently, the Car Thing release is invite-only, but Spotify is taking names from Premium subscribers for when more devices become available.
The strangely named Car Thing replaces the need for a phone when streaming music, though it still needs to connect to a smartphone with WiFi or have its own mobile data connection Like with the in-app voice controls, users can call up specific artists, songs, playlists, moods, and podcasts.
“This limited release is not meant to compete with the in-car infotainment systems that many cars have,” said Dustee Jenkins, Spotify VP of global communications and PR. “Instead, it’s another step in our layer of our larger ubiquity strategy. It’s all about creating a truly frictionless audio experiences for users wherever they are and however they choose to listen.”
The three-centimeter thin, 4.5-inch X 2.5-inch touch-screen Car Thing looks and acts like the Spotify app and there are several ways to control it:
- Talk to it – Just say “Hey Spotify” then ask for a song, album, artist, playlist, station, or podcast.
- Turn it – Use the dial to browse, select, play, pause and discover.
- See it – The display shows you what’s playing, what’s coming, and lets you swipe to get to it.
- Press it – Four preset buttons give you shortcuts to your favorite artists, playlists, stations, and podcasts.
Car Thing sells for $79.99 + $6.99 shipping and handling.