The big picture: We shouldn’t read too much into Spotify testing its first device for the car. According to the company, it’s more interested in learning about your listening habits and becoming the top audio platform in the world than it is actually selling hardware.
Spotify is testing a voice-controlled music and podcasting device for the car, the streaming giant announced on Friday.
Known simply as “Car Thing,” Spotify developed the gadget to learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts in their vehicles. Considering Americans spend 70 billion hours behind the wheel each year, it makes sense that Spotify would like to further target this audience and one of the best ways to set down that road is to learn as much as possible about the market.
Spotify is quick to point out that its main focus is becoming the world’s top audio platform, not on creating hardware. As such, it will only be testing the smart assistant device in the US and only with a small group of invited Spotify Premium members. There are currently no plans to make the device available to consumers.
A source familiar with Spotify’s plans told The Verge that there is no hard timeline in place for how long the test will run.
Interestingly enough, Spotify said it may also do similar voice-specific tests in the future. As such, we may hear about “Voice Thing” and “Home Thing” at some point which sounds a lot like a smart speaker for the home.