In May 2019 Spotify showed off its first consumer hardware: a voice-controlled speaker for in-car use called ‘Car Thing’. It was being tested with a small group of motorists in the US to get feedback for further development of the device. Now we’ve got a sense of where that feedback has led Spotify.

A filing with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – something that’s required for all consumer electronics devices – has revealed the latest version of Car Thing. It used to look a bit like a key fob, with a circular screen, but the new version is more of an iPod Mini: a slim, rectangular device and screen.

The FCC filing does not necessarily mean Car Thing is going on sale soon: Spotify told The Verge that “we’re continuing tests of a voice-controlled music and podcast device to help us learn more about how people listen to audio in the car”. But it does raise the prospect of Spotify launching its first hardware perhaps as soon as this year – although Car Thing may need to wait until more people are back commuting to offices in the US.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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