Microsoft and Johnson Controls today revealed a new product partnership in a smart thermostat called "GLAS." The thermostat has been built by Johnson Controls, the company that made the first electric thermostat, with Microsoft providing all of the internal software, including the ability for users to awake and control its functions with smart AI assistant Cortana (via The Verge).
In the announcement video, GLAS is showcased as having an aluminum edge that attaches the thermostat to a wall, as well as a translucent touchscreen display that will let users tap and swipe through different temperature and control settings. The video mentioned that GLAS will monitor indoor and outdoor air temperature, as well as be knowledgeable of when a user is in the room or away from home, saving them money on their energy bills.
GLAS will run using Microsoft's Windows 10 IoT Core operating system as well as the company's Azure Cloud computing platform. Microsoft provided the following description on its YouTube channel for the device, although any other official information has yet to come out:
Heating and cooling account for roughly 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most families. In the commercial building sector, the cost is approximately 40%. Johnson Controls, one of the leading providers of HVAC, Fire and Security systems in the world, is changing how spaces are viewed and controlled. As the inventors of the first thermostat, Johnson Controls has innovated once again with GLAS.
Utilizing Windows 10 IoT Core, Cortana voice services, and Azure Cloud, GLAS is a simple to use, elegant thermostat that brings leading energy savings and air quality monitoring to everyday spaces. Johnson Controls is reinventing the thermostat and our lives.
The upcoming Johnson Controls GLAS thermostat is one of the newest devices using Microsoft's Cortana Devices SDK, which enables third-party hardware manufacturers to bake in the voice-activated AI to new devices. The company announced it would be opening up Cortana to new hardware makers late last year, confirming it wanted to see Cortana placed within fridges, toasters, thermostats, and other Internet of Things devices.
One of the first devices coming out of the announcement is tipped to be a Cortana-based smart speaker made by Harman Kardon. That speaker is rumored to launch sometime this fall, and will enter the market as a competitor to the Amazon Echo and Apple's upcoming HomePod.