Spotify, one of the most popular music streaming services, has made its way into the hardware category by introducing a smart player called ‘Car Thing’. This is a type of infotainment system aimed at those customers who do not have a modern car with a built-in infotainment screen and functions. It brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features to these users and allows them to control it using their voice, touch and built-in dialing.
As with Spotify, it is clear that you are getting the ‘Hey Spotify’ feature on this one. While this is done for voice controls, touch is said to be used for granular navigation. Dialing can be used to browse the Spotify library, select music, and more. Additionally you get four on-screen settings so you can access your favorite playlists without having to work on it too much and be distracted.
However, Spotify’s Car’s Thing is not something that is available to everyone. Restricted to US market and you need an invitation to buy it. The invitation can be found on the website of a dedicated company. While the reason for limiting sales is unknown, one can only assume that Spotify is trying to control you because it wants to test you with limited users. This may be widely issued and there may be no invitations in the future if all goes well.
This may be close to what we get with Amazon Echo Auto but with screen and dial navigation easy navigation and limited functionality.