That’s the name of Spotify’s first voice-controlled plug-in smart device: Car Thing. In a blog post Friday, the music streaming company said the device would play music and podcasts for a “small group” of invited Spotify Premium users in the U.S.
Spotify said it could also be joined by devices called Voice Thing and Home Thing. A company spokesperson wouldn’t elaborate beyond the blog post.
But The Verge found that the device will play through Bluetooth and plug into the car’s cigarette lighter socket. You say, “Hey, Spotify” to activate the device, which is connected to your account.
Last year, word spread about a device that sounds similar, but it never materialized — until now.
Spotify said the device is just for testing purposes and that its streaming audio platform is its main focus — not hardware. That’s probably a good call. Spotify faces a lot of competition when it comes to car audio.
Google and Apple have infotainment systems that sync with users’ phones, Google recently announced “drive mode” for Android smartphones and third-party plug-in devices, and Amazon just unveiled Echo Auto.
A market research firm released findings last month that predict 20 million cars will have a voice assistant built into the vehicle by 2023.