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?