Spotify officially announces the ‘Car Thing’ with voice control, a dedicated dial, and more

It has been rumored for quite some time that Spotify has been hard at work on a piece of hardware to show off its streaming service. And finally the rumors have become reality.

On Tuesday, Spotify officially announced what it calls the “Car Thing” (via TechCrunch). This is Spotify’s first hardware device, and it’s meant to sit in your car and help you listen to the content you want to while on a drive. Spotify says Car Thing is designed for the cars that might not have up-to-date infotainment systems, and the ones that don’t support Apple’s CarPlay or Google‘s Android Auto. Spotify says this is a more “seamless” effort, allowing your phone to do “phone things” while Car Thing handles the media playback.

The company’s first hardware device is an interesting one. It offers a touchscreen, a dedicated dial, and supports “Hey Spotify” as well. There are four user-configurable buttons on the top of the device, too, each of which can be customized to launch different options. That includes a favorite playlist, a specific podcast, and more.

The software will look familiar to anyone who’s used Spotify’s mobile app. The Car Thing connects to a car via Bluetooth, or through a USB or AUX cable. Spotify is offering a variety of different mounts, too, so the Car Thing will be secure while being used.

The device is meant specifically for Spotify Premium subscribers.

Spotify’s Car Thing is still a bit of an experiment, so this isn’t a wide public launch quite yet. Instead, Spotify is offering up a wait list for folks who want to try it out. If they get selected they’ll only have to pay $6.99 for shipping — the Car Thing itself is free.

However, once the public launch does happen at some point in the future, the Car Thing will retail for $79.99. No word on when that public launch will be, though.

What do you think of the Car Thing? If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, do you think you’ll be picking it up?