Spotify 'Car Thing' seeks FCC nod; significant redesign, features revealed
Popular music streaming service Spotify has sought FCC certification for a new Bluetooth-enabled device dubbed Car Thing. Last heard of in 2019, the car companion has received a significant design revamp and no longer resembles the 2019 concept. Although FCC compliance doesn't guarantee product launch, this is a fair glimpse into what Spotify is trying to achieve in the auto entertainment space.
Spotify Car Thing from 2019 was more form than function
Spotify revealed the Car Thing in 2019. It was rumored to be a voice-activated smart assistant that revolved around your Spotify music playlists. It featured buttons on one side and a round screen on the other. The device was seeded to some Spotify Premium users in the US for early testing. At the time, the company had no plans to publicly release the product.
FCC compliance certification for electronic devices explained
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a body of the US Government that certifies consumer electronics prior to a nationwide rollout. It involves the validation of devices to verify if the EMI emissions are within safe limits, among other tests. The certification is recognized across the world but is only mandatory for products either made for export to the US or otherwise manufactured there.
FCC filing reveals updates to the Car Thing
The device seen on FCC's pages sports a much larger rectangular screen, a dominant round knob, and a single button up front. Specifics on the device's operation remain unknown. The FCC filing details the device will be marketed as a 2.4 GHz Bluetooth phone accessory drawing power at 12 volts. The short term confidentiality of the device is valid until July 2021.
What could be expected from the device
Spotify's car entertainment hardware could simply be a means to tweak the algorithm to gauge people's taste for in-car music. This could eventually lead to improved recommendations based on a mix of users' tastes and location. There's also the possibility that the Car Thing is only a tool for Spotify to mine data for another vehicular endeavor.