For many years now, talk of an experimental car-based, Spotify-playing speaker has been circulating, but it seems as though a big design refresh was given to the mystery device, and may actually be going on sale soon.
In filings filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US, a new ‘Bluetooth Phone Accessory’ has become clear, a mandatory move for new devices that require official approval to be marked as secure for use.
We also get a summary in the documentation: this is “a voice controlled accessory for phone/Spotify App with supporting display and buttons” The Car Thing that emerged back in 2019 sounds very much like that.
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Although Spotify has previously recognized the presence of the Car Thing, it has said that the system was intended to assist with research up to this point and will not be on sale. As per a remark made to The Verge, that’s the line that it’s continuing with.
The photos that come with the FCC filing look very different from the Car Stuff gadget we had a glimpse of a few years ago. The screen is now much wider, and one of the corners has been shifted to the wide dial power.
Naturally, that suits trends in the automotive industry as a whole, car manufacturers are moving to larger and larger digital infotainment systems to keep you entertained on your journey (as well as providing essential details such as your current speed).
We can’t see what the program is going to look like from the images, or how the system formerly known as Car Thing could work when you set it up, though. FCC approval does not actually mean that Spotify is prepared to make the device available to all, but it did inform The Verge that “we’re always testing and seeking feedback from our users before rolling out new features or products broadly”
What we do know is that Spotify is constantly moving into the podcast world to go with all it does with music streaming, and this piece of in-car hardware could be meant to get even more people on Spotify listening to podcasts.