It was almost two years ago that Spotify unveiled its first experimental piece of hardware
, and although the Sweden-based company continues to have absolutely no intention of competing against dedicated in-car infotainment systems, the aptly named Car Thing is now officially ready for primetime... sort of
You'll only have to pay the $6.99 shipping costs ($14.99 for Alaska and Hawaii) as opposed to the $79.99 "anticipated retail price" of the Car Thing if you're lucky enough to receive an invite after joining the waitlist on this webpage
. Naturally, you'll need to be a premium Spotify subscriber to qualify for this sweet deal, which you can only redeem once.
Interestingly, there are no words on exclusions for participants to the original Car Thing beta (alpha?) test, which actually makes sense given the product itself seems to have gone through some radical changes since 2019.
While the general purpose is obviously still the same, as Spotify is basically aiming to make it easier to listen to your favorite tunes, albums, and playlists in your vehicle, the lightweight (96 grams) and razor-thin (6mm) Car Thing now comes with a relatively large 4-inch touchscreen, as well as a handy dial and four preset buttons at the top.
The idea is to give the users as many options as possible to interact with their content, and yes, that includes voice assistance as well. You can use the newly launched "Hey Spotify" command
to control your music playback without ever taking your eyes off the road, rotate the aforementioned dial to "steer to the audio you love", or simply swipe left and right to change songs.
With a grand total of four microphones on deck, Spotify promises the upgraded but still very much experimental Car Thing will understand everything you ask it to do without using your hands even if your windows are down or the music is too loud.
If all of this sounds worth your 80 bucks, you'll probably be disappointed to hear that Spotify is not ready to say when or if the Car Thing will actually go on sale for anyone to buy.