Spotify is working on voice-controlled hardware for the car.

It’s called “The Car Thing.” No, really.

About a year ago, we started hearing rumours regarding a Spotify skunkworks project that would result in voice-controlled music hardware designed specifically for the car. This week, they announced some results of their tests and prototypes.

From the Spotify blog:

“Americans spend 70 billion hours behind the wheel each year. That’s a lot of time spent on the road. So what you do—and what you listen to—to help you get through those long hours in the car matters. That’s why Spotify is trying to learn more about people’s listening habits and preferences to help create an unparalleled experience for our users.

“Here’s what you need to know about our test:

  1. We’re testing how people listen in the car through a voice-controlled music and podcast device called “Car Thing.”
  2. While we know there has been some speculation about our future plans, Car Thing was developed to help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts. Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform—not on creating hardware.
  3. The test will be done in the US only, with a small group of invited Spotify Premium users.
  4. We might do similar voice-specific tests in the future, so don’t be surprised if you hear about “Voice Thing” and “Home Thing.”
  5. We don’t have any current plans to make this specific device available to consumers, but the learnings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen.”

Interesting. Let’s see where this goes.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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