Did you hear? Spotify is making a Car Thing. Yes, seriously, it’s called the Car Thing. It acts as an intermediary device that connects to your phone and your car so you can listen to Spotify through your car’s stereo even if the devices aren’t normally compatible.
The Car Thing’s screen shows you what’s playing and features a large dial for navigating menus and changing the volume and a single button for making selections. It also responds to “Hey, Spotify” voice commands, which the company recently launched on smartphones. (Note that this feature does collect your voice data, which Spotify uses for targeted ads. Plenty of other apps do the same thing, but it’s worth mentioning in case you’re put off by such practices.)
But even if Spotify’s data policies don’t deter you, getting your hands on a Car Thing might take some luck: It will only be available for a limited time to randomly-selected Spotify Premium subscribers who join the waitlist.
Spotify says it’s opting for a limited release because its primary focus is still the music streaming service itself, and it doesn’t want to be seen as a hardware company. Fair enough, but it’s unclear how many Car Things are actually available or whether Spotify plans to release more in the future.
Whatever the case, interested customers should join the waitlist right away for a chance to buy one before they run out—or, if you’re lucky, you might even get one for free… Well, kinda.
The Car Thing’s expected retail price is $79.99, but the first round of customers will get their Car Things for “free,” and pay only for shipping ($6.99 for shipments to the continental US, or $14.99 to Alaska and Hawaii). To join the waitlist, go to Spotify’s official Car Thing webpage and click “Put me on the list.” Follow the instructions, then cross your fingers you get an invitation.