Spotify is making it easier than ever to listen to your playlists in a car that doesn’t have smartphone mirroring.
The Car Thing is a small, touchscreen music player that connects your phone’s Spotify account to your car’s speakers, either via Bluetooth or an auxiliary cable.
It’s a unique solution for cars that lack infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
However, Spotify says that Car Thing isn’t meant to compete with in-car infotainment systems. It is instead a way to “create a truly frictionless audio experience for our users, wherever they are and however they choose to listen.”
The Car Thing’s screen allows users to live view what’s playing and swipe through songs, playlists or podcasts at their leisure.
It features both physical toggles and a touch screen.
Users can also use their voice to pick specific songs or artists. By saying “Hey Spotify”, four microphones on the top of the device listen in to every word you say to make sure the right song is picked, even with the windows down.
Four preset buttons at the top of the device make it easy to shoot straight to your favourite playlists.
To mount the Car Thing in your vehicle, Spotify will send you multiple mounting solutions, including one for an air vent and another to stick on the dash.
The release of the Car Thing will begin in limited numbers in the US and will be invite only, and you’ll also need a Spotify Premium subscription.
Spotify users can add themselves to a waitlist, and if lucky, will only be charged shipping to get their hands on the device.
When launched on a larger scale, Spotify anticipates a regular retail price of around US$80 (A$104).
Australian customers will unfortunately have to wait some time before the Car Thing comes Down Under. At this stage, nothing has been confirmed.
According to Spotify, there are over 70 million user-generated driving playlists on the platform, so the company clearly knows there is demand for a driving-related product.