Spotify expands access to its in-car entertainment device ‘Car Thing’

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Spotify’s in-car entertainment system known as simply “Car Thing”, which launched this spring on an invitation basis, is now becoming more widely available. The company announced Friday that Car Thing will be available to US users who want to purchase the $79.99 device. Previously, Spotify had distributed the product for shipping costs only during the limited release trial period, noting that it was Spotify’s first hardware and that it “wanted to do things right”.

Now, Spotify says that US users who previously signed up for the Car Thing waiting list will be given the option to purchase the device before others. However, any current Spotify user – free or Premium – can sign up for the Car Thing waiting list. The product will be rolled out to these customers in due course.

The device requires a Spotify Premium membership (either an individual, family, or student subscription). Users also need a smartphone for the mobile data. But you don’t currently need a paid subscription to put your name on the waiting list.

The device itself is a lightweight (3.4 oz.), thin (4.6 x 2.5 x 0.7 inch) music and podcast player that offers a combination of voice controls, buttons, buttons and a touchscreen to navigate through menus. navigate and select the media you want to use. wants to hear. Through Car Thing, users can access Spotify’s entire music catalog and podcasts in their car.

The idea is to provide car owners without built-in smartphone connectivity systems, such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a way to access Spotify’s personal listening experience in an easier way.

Car Thing can be mounted in the car in a variety of ways, thanks to the various mounts that come alongside the gadget, along with a car charger and USB-C cable.

Image Credits: Spotify

The main interface has four preset buttons that allow you to save your favorite content for quick access. These are configured by default with your favorite songs and Spotify’s Daily Drive and Morning Commute playlists, with the last preset being empty. You can change any of these to suit your own preferences.

You can also talk to Car Thing using the “Hey Spotify” voice commands, which the device receives through the four microphones at the top. Currently, Spotify’s policy on the use of voice data explains that the company collects recordings and transcripts of what you say, along with information about the content it has sent back to you, and may use the data to improve the feature over the course of the service. time to improve.

Since its limited launch earlier this year, Spotify has already released some software updates to enhance 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 has not said how many Car Thing devices have shipped so far.