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This article was published on April 24, 2017

Spotify is working on a ‘category-defining’ wearable (probably)

Spotify is working on a ‘category-defining’ wearable (probably)
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez


Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

Spotify is working on a wearable. Yes, you read that right: the music service is getting into the hardware game.

According to a couple of job listings right on the service’s website – as first spotted by Zats Not Funny – Spotify is looking for a Senior Product Manager to help the company create a “category-defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles.” Presumably, it will have something to do with music (“above all, your work will affect the way the world experiences music & talk content”), so perhaps the iPod might be a more apt comparison.

A couple of other job listings show Spotify is looking for people to help out with its voice efforts beyond its “core apps.” Zats not Funny sites its own source confirming Spotify is creating a wearable of some sort.You can bet voice will play a big role in whatever Spotify is cooking up.

Basically, Spotify is building a hardware team to work on something big, but we have few clues as to what. “Category-defining” is a lofty aspiration for a music-oriented device; there hasn’t really been a watershed moment for the category since the Zune iPod, and since then it’s faded into virtual irrelevance thanks to the smartphone. What would it take to get people excited about music hardware again?

There’s even the possibility that whatever Spotify is creating is only partly about music – it’s notable that Spotify chose to compare its plans not to Apple’s seminal MP3 player, but to more Internet-of-Thingsy type hardware. That also makes me think Spotify is looking to combine elements of all three. Perhaps smart headphones?

Whatever Spotify has up its sleeve, it’ll be an important differentiator as the music-streaming space becomes ever more crowded.

While software features can be effectively copied in months or even weeks – just look at Facebook and Snapchat – hardware is whole ‘nother ballgame. It’s part of the reason why Spectacles were such a momentous turn for Snap; no matter how much Facebook apes Snapchat’s software features, Spectacles are likely just the beginning of hardware push Facebook will have a much harder time replicating.

Personally, I’m hoping for some kind of wearable that will turn the random melodies I sing to myself throughout the day into professionally-produced rock ballads. A man can dream.

H/T The Verge

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