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Spotify Releases Car Thing Gadget For Free

Spotify Releases Car Thing Gadget For Free
The Spotify logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Athens, Greece on April 13, 2021 (Photo Illustration by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 15 April 2021 09:10 AM

Spotify has just released its Car Thing device for drivers and it's free. The limited-edition smart player would normally retail for $80, but invited Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.S. only have to worry about paying for shipping fees, the audio streaming service announced in a statement.

Car Thing, which debuted Tuesday in a limited release, was designed to make it easier for drivers to navigate Spotify's library on their cars' sound system.

"The limited release of Car Thing is not meant to compete with in-car infotainment systems," the statement read. "Instead, it’s another step in our larger ubiquity strategy — creating a truly frictionless audio experience for our users, wherever they are and however they choose to listen."

Car Thing works as a touch screen, voice-enabled tuner that allows drivers to browse Spotify's library. The device has four microphones along the top, making it easier for it to understand voice commands. Car Thing also comes with a large physical dial and enables drivers to choose four preset buttons to access and skip through their favorites faster.

Spotify has not revealed how many devices it would be supplying or whether more would be made available later.

"Our focus is on this limited release," a Spotify spokeswoman told CNET’s Roadshow. "We will share more information about future plans as they become available."

Spotify has been focusing on developing a strategy that allows users to access the streaming service on various devices. Sten Garmark, Spotify's VP of Product, spoke about what the future entailed for Spotify users. 

"Our ubiquity strategy is very much mobile first, since most of our users today are coming in on their phones. If that’s their first touchpoint, then it’s about expanding that to more situations. We think that’s going to continue for quite some time," he said

"From there, we need to be technically integrated with all the devices around you to enable a great Spotify experience that, to you as a consumer, intuitively works. That requires making sure that the integration for our partners is simple, such as with a voice-activated speaker. At the end of the day, we need to deliver a simple solution for all: our users, partners, and creators."

Spotify has had its eye on the future for some time. CEO Daniel Ek once entertained the idea of musical light bulbs or at least "more intelligent systems," CNET reported. Although he did not comment on these magical light bulbs, Garmark said the end goal is to ensure Spotify "aligns more deeply with the multiple devices" in its users' lives. 

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Spotify has just released its Car Thing device for drivers and it's free. The limited-edition smart player would normally retail for $80...
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Thursday, 15 April 2021 09:10 AM
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