Microsoft and Johnson Control have partnered together to build a new thermostat named GLAS. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the touchscreen display allows users to change room temperatures, check energy usage and see calendar information. The smart thermostat’s sensors can also sense when you’re in the room and monitor indoor and outdoor air quality. It will then use this information to change settings, saving energy and money for the user.
Get Ready to See Cortana in More Devices
The companies debuted GLAS today by released a short You Tube video on its capabilities. While the video is a little heavy-handed (can a thermostat really change your life?), the new thermostat is a significant event for Microsoft. GLAS is one of the first thermostats to include Cortana integration as well as Cortana’s voice controls. While competitors like the Ecobee4 do have Alexa voice controls built in, GLAS signals that Microsoft is serious about integrating Cortana in consumer-facing products and moving beyond the B2B space. Microsoft’s greatest strength could be that Cortana will play well in both sectors. Even the promotional video demonstrates how the GLAS thermostat can be used at both work and at home. It also proves that Microsoft can overcome one of its weaknesses: device aesthetics. If the YouTube comments are any indication, the consensus is that GLAS is one beautiful thermostat. And it’s smart.