Spotify’s voice-controlled ‘Car Thing’ device reappears

Illustration for the article titled 'Car Thing' Spotify Voice Controlled Device Surfaces One More Time

Photo: Martin Bureau / AFP (fake images)

Spotify’s long-rumored Car Thing device has emerged once again, this time in iOS code.

Spotify first Announced that it was testing a “voice-controlled music and podcast device” called Car Thing in 2019. Spotify was quite specific at the time that its “focus is still on becoming the world’s number one audio platform, not on creating hardware “, though FCC filings from earlier this year certainly seemed to indicate that Spotify has at least been messing with the design of the device, as the one in its 2019 mockup looked different than the one shown in FCC stock footage.

Furthermore, the language contained in a confidentiality filing indicated that the company had “put substantial effort into the development of this product and it is one of the first of its kind in the industry. Having the topic information readily available to “competitors” would negate the advantage they have gained by developing this product. Failure to protect the details of the design will result in financial hardship. ”While it may be a mere formality, the application certainly reads as if the company has invested heavily in the development of Car Thing.

Illustration for the article titled 'Car Thing' Spotify Voice Controlled Device Surfaces One More Time

Image: FCC

Images that appear to represent Car Thing shared by Steve Moser on Twitter and informed by MacRumors have appeared in the iOS code of the Spotify app. These images show a horizontally oriented smartphone-like display with a knob and buttons. It looks very similar to an image contained in the FCC filing. It is expected to connect via Bluetooth.

Originally, Car Thing was available as a limited trial with a “small group” of premium Spotify users who were invited to participate. The company said in 2019 that it was developed “to help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts,” but also noted that other products such as “Voice Thing” or “Home Thing” could be developed in a similar way to understand how subscribers use their platform.

Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the recent images and their plans for Car Thing, but we will update if we listen.


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