Microsoft recently announced GLAS, a Cortana powered smart thermostat.
With the success or Google’s Nest and Ecobee, it’s not surprising that Microsoft would push to keep up with their competitors in the smart thermostat market.
Johnson Controls, Microsoft’s partner on the device, typically works on ventilation, HVAC, and fire alarm systems.
This is the first thermostat to include an integration with Cortana, Microsoft’s AI. Microsoft announced this new smart thermostat just after the release of the Cortana-Skills kit. This kit opened up Cortana to developers and allows the creation of new skills and voice controls. The inclusion of the Cortana AI in the device will allow users to interact with the thermostat through voice control. So no more speaking into a smartphone or home assistant.
The GLAS, along with the Harmon Kardon Invoke, begets Microsoft’s attempts to get Windows and Cortana into more smart devices. Unlike the Invoke, however, Microsoft will not be going up against an AI like Alexa in the uncontested smart thermostat market.
The GLAS smart thermostat features a translucent touch screen that can be used to view energy usage, update a calendar, or even assess air quality.
The device will run on the Windows 10 IoT Core and powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud services.
The promotional video released at the announcement highlights the use of the thermostat in businesses and non-residential properties. It’s not yet clear if Microsoft will allow consumers to purchase the GLAS for use in homes or apartments.
At the moment, we don’t know when the thermostat will launch.