Microsoft unveils smart thermostat powered by Cortana

Posted July 22, 2017

Johnson Controls has unveiled a thermostat using Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant software. From what we can see of GLAS in an introductory video that Microsoft posted to YouTube, it is a gorgeous looking thermostat, for whatever that is worth. Microsoft notes that Glas has sensors that detect when a person is in the room in order to adjust the temperature, and the thermostat will monitor indoor and outdoor air quality.

Rival smart thermostats like the Nest, Hive, and Netatmo devices are now commonplace but this new device looks somewhat slicker, and that's before we get into the capabilities. GLAS is a joint product, made by Microsoft in partnership with Irish multinational conglomerate Johnson Controls, who are also the makers of the world's very first electric room thermostat.

GLAS is powered by Windows IOT and Azure Cloud, and features voice control powered by Cortana Voice Services. "Heating and cooling account for roughly 48 percent of the energy use in a typical USA home, making it the largest energy expense for most families". In commercial buildings, heating and cooling account for 40% of energy usage. The company's Windows 10 IoT Core operating system could be the future of Smart Home applications and devices.

Microsoft's GLAS is not going to be the first of its kind thermostat. It's also the latest gadget to be integrated with Microsoft's voice-based personal assistant Cortana. "In addition to the local user experiences, the Azure IoT backbone enables data centralization, deeper analysis, and remote device control".

There are several important details regarding the GLAS smart thermostat that are unknown, such as its price tag and its expected release date. The display is on a translucent touchscreen that will let you tap and swipe through different control settings.