A Swedish audio streaming platform, Spotify launched in India earlier this year in February, has started testing a device it refers to as Car Thing. The company said it has undertaken a pilot to understand how users listen in their vehicles via a music and podcast device that can be controlled via voice commands.
To be noted that the company, however, clarified that it has no intentions to switch its focus to developing hardware. It said that even though there have been some talk about its future plans, the aim of developing the device, i.e. Car Thing, was to enable it to understand users' listening habits better and know more about how they listen to music and podcasts. Spotify added that it continues to focus on establishing itself as the leading audio platform in the world and not on developing hardware.
It is worth mention here that in a blog post on its official website, Spotify said, "Americans spend 70 billion hours behind the wheel each year. That’s a lot of time spent on the road. So what you do—and what you listen to—to help you get through those long hours in the car matters. That’s why Spotify is trying to learn more about people’s listening habits and preferences to help create an unparalleled experience for our users."
It is to be noted that Spotify will limit the geographic scope of this pilot to only within the US with a modest group of "invited Spotify Premium users". It also added that the company may conduct such voice-specific tests in the future in other contexts as well. The company has also made it clear that while it currently doesn't intend to offer Car Thing to consumers, the direction it takes will be governed by what it learns from this test.