Business News Digital

Spotify planning to launch in-car streaming hardware

By | Published on Monday 21 January 2019

Spotify In-car

Spotify is planning to launch a voice-controlled audio device for your car later this year. Which I’m sure anyone who has ever actually tried to use voice controls over the sound of engine and road noise will be whooping with excitement about. Even if the voice control can’t hear them.

Presumably aimed at music fans without a super-duper net-connected entertainment system in their cars – which, to be fair, is probably most music fans – the Financial Times says the device will cost around $100 and will connect to your existing car stereo via a Bluetooth connection.

As well as voice controls, it will also have programmable buttons that you can jab at angrily after you eventually give up on your fruitless shouting.

It’s not clear if the new gadget has its own data connection. Though if not – so that it requires a smartphone to stream audio – then why not just connect your smartphone to your stereo? I mean, aren’t you already using that for navigation anyway? It’s nice to have extra things to plug into your cigarette lighter, I suppose.

There have been rumours of Spotify offering streaming hardware for almost as long as Spotify has existed. And there’s been specific talk of the company developing in-app voice controls for drivers for some time too. Last year, some Spotify users reported seeing pop-ups offering pre-orders on an in-car device, charged at $12.99 per month for the unit and streaming package, with a minimum commitment of a year.

So far, the only in-car voice control I’ve ever seen that actually worked was using Siri on an Apple Watch to control an iPhone connected to the car stereo. Although it’s not possible to control Spotify – or any streaming service other than Apple Music – in that way. Maybe Spotify’s developed some magical new system that works without your mouth being pressed directly up against the microphone.