It’s been pretty obvious that streaming music giant Spotify have been keen to dip their toes in the turbulent waters of the hardware market ever since they started putting up sneaky job ads for engineers, but no one’s been really clear on exactly what. The obvious move is into home speakers, like Google, Amazon and Apple have done, but that’s a pretty crowded space at this point.
The Swedish company has invited media to a press event in New York City on April 24th – which could obviously be about anything, really, but speculation is mounting that they’re about to drop details about whatever hardware project they’ve been cooking up in their lab. What might it be? According to users on the Spotify forums and Reddit, it might just be a voice control unit for cars.
And it’s not just empty speculation. Over the past few months, some users have reported they’ve been served ads within the Spotify app for a small wireless device which appears to receive voice commands for Spotify. The pricing structure in the ad – which has ranged from US$12.99 to $14.99, seems to include both a subscription and the device.
Some users on Reddit claim their particular version of the ad – which leads to an error message when the ‘pre-order’ button is tapped – suggested it would include 4G support, which means it would work independently of a smartphone or other device with a data plan.
Spotify has also definitely been testing voice controls within their app over the past few months, so it wouldn’t be surprising if their announcement pertains to that feature in some way.
Of course, this could all be bullshit – Spotify’s reps might get up on stage on the 24th and say they’ll be the exclusive streaming platform for a new Vengaboys album, for all we know. But evidence is mounting that something hardware-related is coming, and that voice control is a big focus.
Of course, we live in Australia so we might never see it anyway. But owning the car music space like this with a device included on a subscription would be a very smart move.