For the next few weeks, Spotify will launch an American test of its first hardware device, an automatic accessory that offers hands-free music control.
Connected to the car, the device is powered by a 12-volt output and connects to both a smartphone and a car over Bluetooth. A small circular display shows what is played while buttons provide access to preset playlists.
By saying "Hey Spotify", people can make Siri or Alexa style requests, for example "play" A Flaming Ordeal "by Raison d 'eters" or "mix my" Bedtime for Bonzo "playlist."
Spotify now only out to a select group of people for testing, and the company says it's interested primarily in measuring car music and podcast habits. Spotify is concentrating on being "the world's number one audio platform – not on creating hardware", it wrote in a blog post.
An anonymous source of The Verge supported this sentence and said that there are no intentions to start the car's stuff, or even to the public. Nevertheless, the company has the trademark "Car Thing", "Voice Thing" and "Thing Thing" that lay the foundation for potential commercial products.
Hardware like Car Thing can come around a key limitation on the iPhone, which is Apple's control over voice commands. While people may ask Siri to play songs if they have an Apple Music subscription, they cannot do the same if they have Spotify Premium or another third party service on request.