In 2019, Spotify showed off a test device that is supposed to study the way people use the music streaming app inside a car. It was called the Car Thing and it had a small screen, controls, and even had support for voice commands. But what they kept saying was that this is not a real product that will be sold on the market. But in early January, an FCC listing was seen. And now, a leak in the Spotify app for iOS suggests that they may have changed their minds.
9 to 5 Mac discovered this in the Spotify app code and it’s a real updated design from the ones we saw above. The renders show a large rectangular screen, a large control knob, and a smaller button underneath. It matches some of the details stated in the FCC filings that were spotted in January, which also mentioned buttons and voice controls. The description of the device says that it is an accessory for Spotify users who want to connect to their car’s bluetooth sound system.
This may indicate that it is no longer just a test device, but possibly a real car accessory for consumers. For two years, we haven’t heard from Spotify if they planned to release this hardware after they initially said it was just a tool they were using to understand how people access their music and podcasts when in a vehicle. But there is a possibility that what they learned is that people need a device like this to facilitate the transmission of the service.
Based on the information we’ve learned so far, the Car Thing will plug into the 12-volt outlet and plug into the car in a similar way to the phone holder. Other than that and the renders detected, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of leaked details, such as whether the device’s sole purpose is to stream Spotify or whether there will be other features. It doesn’t seem to need connection to other devices like a smartphone, but if it will actually launch we’ll find out more later.
The question, of course, is whether this is something that people really need. If you have Spotify on your smartphone, then it is easy enough to connect to your car’s infotainment system or you can even stream it directly. Price will also be a consideration, of course. Well, we don’t know yet if it will happen, so we will have to wait a few more months.