After the device first showed up in FCC filings in January, a recent dig through the Spotify iOS app’s code has revealed images of the “Car Thing” — voice-controlled music and podcast assistant from Spotify, as found by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser.
The uncovered images showcase a wildly different design from the small circular screen with a side panel Spotify originally unveiled as the Car Thing back in 2019.
I wonder if these are buttons on top and if they map to the on screen buttons so that you can use Car Thing without looking at it. pic.twitter.com/StnHcxlnT2
— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) April 2, 2021
There has been radio silence on the subject for almost two years since, but it looks like Spotify has been hard at work developing its first hardware offering and is now close(?) to thinking about a launch.
The new design features a much larger, rectangular screen not unlike that of your average smartphone, with a large control knob and a smaller button on one side.
The images also showcase a number of mounting mechanisms for the Car Thing, letting users attach the device to the dash or a vent in their car. The Car Thing is Bluetooth-enabled for connectivity with in-car head units and can be plugged into a 12V outlet.
The device also appears to support navigation to some extent, possibly courtesy of Spotify’s partnership with Waze.
Spotify originally created the Car Thing as a test device and had no intentions of bringing it to market. However, it looks like that’s changed. What pricing for the device will look like or when we’ll actually see a launch remains to be seen.
Studying the Spotify app’s code further revealed that paid subscriptions for podcasts are going to make their way to the platform soon, around the same time as the launch of Spotify’s Anchor podcast creation tool.
The app code also points to an ability to comment on podcasts for both listeners and creators coming soon.