Spotify Expands Access to Its “Car Thing” In-Car Entertainment Device – TechCrunch

Spotify’s in-car entertainment system known as “Car Thing,” launched this spring by invitation-only, is now more widely available. The company announced today that Car Thing will be available for US users who want to purchase the device for $ 79.99. Previously, Spotify had distributed the product purely for the cost of shipping during its limited version testing period, noting that it was Spotify’s first hardware and wanted to “get it right.”

Now, Spotify says US users who previously signed up for Car Thing’s waitlist will be offered the option to purchase the device before others. However, any current Spotify user – free or premium – can join the Car Thing waitlist. The product will be rolled out to these customers on time.

The device requires a Spotify Premium subscription (either an individual, family, or student plan). Users will also need a smartphone for mobile data. But you won’t need a paid membership to put your name on the waitlist right now.

The device itself is a lightweight (3.4 oz), slim (4.6 “x 2.5” x 0.7 “) music and podcast player that offers a combination of voice commands, buttons, buttons and a touchscreen to navigate its menus and select the media you want to hear.With Car Thing, users can access Spotify’s entire catalog of music and podcasts in their vehicle.

The idea is to offer owners of vehicles without integrated infotainment systems, like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a way to more easily access the personalized listening experience of Spotify.

Car Thing can be mounted inside the car in different ways, thanks to the variety of different holders that accompany the gadget with a car charger and a USB-C cable.

Image credits: Spotify

Its main interface has four predefined buttons that allow you to save your favorite content for quick access. By default, these are set up with your favorite songs and Spotify’s Daily Drive and Morning Commute playlists, with the last preset empty. You can change any of them to match your own preferences.

You can also talk to Car Thing using the “Hey Spotify” voice commands, which the device receives through its four microphones at the top. Currently, Spotify’s policy regarding its use of voice data explains that the company will collect recordings and transcriptions of what you say as well as information about the content it has returned to you, and may use the data to improve functionality. over time.

Since its limited launch earlier this year, Spotify has already released software updates aimed at improving the Car Thing experience. The company says it will continue to do so in the future, as the device is rolled out to more people.

Spotify did not specify how many Car Thing devices have shipped so far.

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