Spotify’s in-car entertainment system, known simply as “Car Thing,” launched this spring by invitation only, is now increasingly available. The company Announced Today Car Thing will be available to US users who want to purchase the $ 79.99 device. Previously, Spotify had distributed the product only for the cost of shipping during its limited launch trial period, noting that this was Spotify’s first hardware and it wanted to “get it right.”
Now, Spotify says that US users who had previously signed up for the Car Thing waiting list will be offered the ability to buy the device before others. However, any current Spotify user, free or Premium, can sign up for the Car Thing waiting list. The product will reach these customers on time.
The device requires a Spotify Premium membership (either an individual, family, or student plan). Users will also need a smartphone for mobile data. But you won’t need a paid subscription to get your name on the waiting list at this time.
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 control, knobs, buttons, and a touch screen for navigating your menus. and select the media you want to listen to. Through Car Thing, users can access Spotify’s entire catalog of music and podcasts while in their vehicle.
The idea is to provide a way for vehicle owners without integrated infotainment systems, such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, to have an easier way to access Spotify’s personalized listening experience.
Car Thing can be mounted inside the car in a number of different ways, thanks to the variety of different mounts that ship along with the device along with a car charger and USB-C cable.
Its main interface has four preset buttons that allow you to save your favorite content for quick access. By default these are set with your songs you like and Spotify’s Daily Drive and Morning Commute playlists, with the last empty preset. You can change any of these 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 on top. Currently, Spotify policy regarding the use of voice data Explain that the company will collect recordings and transcripts of what you say along with information about the content returned to you, and may use the data to improve functionality over time.
Since its limited release earlier this year, Spotify has already released a few software updates aimed at enhancing the Car Thing experience. The company says it will continue to do so in the future as well, as the device is released to more people.
Spotify did not say how many Car Thing devices have shipped to date.