Voice assistants have increased in popularity, with the big three populating the smart speakers that are on the market: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. One place where they could possibly be of benefit even more is in vehicles, the reason Amazon, Anker, and other companies have been working on devices.
A surprising player has jumped into this game: Spotify. They have announced that they are working on a voice-controlled device for the car as well: “Car Thing.”
Spotify’s “Car Thing”
If you are one of Spotify’s premium members, you may be one of the lucky first few people to try Car Thing. They will invite a small group of premium members to try out the new device. It plugs into a vehicle’s 12-volt outlet, previously known as the cigarette lighter, and uses Bluetooth to connect the car and the user’s smartphone.
It can be activated by saying, “Hey, Spotify,” followed by the music request, just like someone would say with any other voice assistant. The music is, of course, a choice off the user’s Spotify playlists.
There is a circular screen on one side of Car Thing that shows the current track. The other side includes playlist preset buttons.
The test for Car Thing will begin in the next few weeks and will only take place in the United States. Spotify does not have a certain timeframe yet of how long the test will last, and there is no current date of launching the device publicly.
Spotify describes in a blog post that the device was developed to “help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts.” This certainly makes it seem as if it’s being created not so much to provide an easy way for users to listen to their music in the car but to get access to your data.
They also claim their goal “remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform — not on creating hardware.” However, they suggest “Voice Thing” and “Home Thing” are other devices they may also create, which sounds like it may be creating a smart speaker, which of course would make a lot of sense.
It’s also Spotify’s goal to reach into the podcast market more. They have spent $500 million acquiring multiple major podcast networks and are redesigning their app to make them more accessible.
Will Car Thing Take Off?
While newer cars have built-in controls at this point to connect to technology, such as Apple’s Car Play, a survey says that 76 percent of car owners are interested in having the same brand of voice assistant in their car that they’re already using in their home.
This makes sense. If you’re already using Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, or another voice assistant – why would you introduce another into the mix? Why not use an assistant you’re already used to?
Would you be interested in using Spotify’s Car Thing, or would you rather use an extension of the voice assistant you’re already using to play your Spotify music? Add your thoughts to our comments section below.