Spotify Car Thing, a new smart accessory with a display for your car, has been unveiled by the popular music streaming platform. It lets you listen to everything available on Spotify without having to use your phone. Car Thing can also respond to voice commands that can be triggered with “Hey Spotify” and can be controlled with touch gestures or by using the large dial on the front. It can be mounted on multiple places in your car. To use Car Thing, Spotify users must have a Premium membership.
Spotify says there are over 70 million user-generated driving-related playlists on its platform and Car Thing offers a dedicated way to experience music, news, entertainment, and more. “We developed Car Thing because we saw a need from our users, many of whom were missing out on a seamless and personalized in-car listening experience,” the company said in a press release.
Spotify has decided to go for a limited launch for Car Thing that is exclusive to the US and is available on an invite-only basis. The device itself is free-of-cost for a limited time but customers will have to pay for shipping. The anticipated retail price for Car Thing is $79.99 (roughly Rs. 6,000). There is no information on international availability yet. A Spotify Premium subscription is required to use Car Thing. Customers on free trial of Premium will have to forfeit their remaining trial period to buy Car Thing.
Spotify Car Thing features a 3.97-inch touch screen with 480x800 pixels resolution, a large dial, and another button on the front. At the top, there are four preset buttons and a settings button. It has four near-field and mid-field mics with noise suppression capability to listen to voice commands. They also have adaptive interference cancellation that prioritises your voice over other sounds.
Car Thing uses Bluetooth 4.2 to connect with your phone running iOS 14 or Android 8 or above. It has a USB Type-C port to power it from the 12V power outlet in your car. It needs to be connected to your phone via Bluetooth which in turn needs to be connected to your car's stereo using Bluetooth or auxiliary port. It can be mounted on the CD drive slot, on the dash, or on the air conditioning vents.
You can use voice controls with the phrase “Hey Spotify” and ask Car Thing to play a song, album, artist, playlist, station, or podcast. The dial can also be used to navigate, play/ pause, and select, or you can simply use the touchscreen. Car Thing also allows you to make or receive calls, use navigation, get notifications, and more while your phone is connected.
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