Spotify may launch in-car music player with voice control in late 2019

Spotify plans to release an in-car music player, a new leak claims. This alleged device is expected to make its official debut later this year, bringing the popular music service to vehicles that may have less than adequate infotainment systems. The report claims Spotify users will be able to control the in-car player using voice commands and preset hardware buttons.

Hints about Spotify's hardware plans first surfaced in 2018 when the company registered with the FCC, indicating that it may have been working on a wireless device for the US market. Earlier this month, the company also made it easier for Android users to use the service while in their vehicles via a new simplified Car View mode with larger controls.

An actual hardware product would offer a nice compromise between smartphone playback and infotainment systems featuring compatible software like CarPlay and Android Auto. Though a growing number of vehicles feature these platforms, many Spotify users still stream from the service over Bluetooth from a mobile handset.

The hardware device, assuming the leak is correct, will connect to a vehicle's speaker system over Bluetooth, enabling drivers to ask for a particular song or playlist. Voice commands would enable the user to control the playback, eliminating the need to take one's hands away from the steering wheel. As well, preset buttons will reportedly provide one-push access to specific playlists.

The voice control will be made possible via "Spotify Voice," and will enable users to verbally summon audio the same way they would with an Echo device or Google Home speaker. The Spotify Voice product began rolling out on the company's mobile apps in 2018. Assuming the leak is accurate, Spotify plans to charge around $100 for the device.