Microsoft Partners With Johnson Controls for New Cortana Thermostat 'GLAS'

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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.

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago
Neat, but I'm not sure I like the concept of an internet-connect mic in every device in the house...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
I hope this was properly tested. Ha,ha GLAdoS is back!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
looks nice. i love my ecobee so i dont see why people wont like this
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

I like my Ecobee. I liked the Nest more at my old house, but refused to buy it again because they became an Alphabet company. The new Ecobee has Alexa crap baked into it with microphones, so I doubt I'll be buying another Ecobee. Hopefully this one lasts me a long time, but I haven't been super thrilled with the performance of the wireless sensors. At least they sent me a new one for the one that was giving me real troubles disconnecting 15ft line of sight and would disconnect a couple times per day, meaning I'd have to dismiss dozens of messages if I needed to use the control panel on my wall. The other sensors just don't have the range to work well where I need them, but I've at least got one working in a spot downstairs now. Hopefully in the future we can get BT LE mesh sensors so they can pass data along between them back to the main unit. The main problem I have with Ecobee is that the software isn't that great. It's a lot less intuitive than the Nest, but I do like the HomeKit integration, which partially makes up for that.

Do you have computer or smart phone with a mic?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Congrats to Johnson Controls, the real innovator here.

My company does a lot of business with JCI in our HVAC services dept, temp controls being one area. So this is cool news.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Do you have computer or smart phone with a mic?

A computer and phone are something you take with you (or turn off when you don't) and expressly interact with. These devices are permanently attached to your home.

A computer and phone tend to come with security updates for years. These devices often don't.
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As if Bixby or Siri could do ANYTHING close to this right now? Pfff. Microsoft with their Azure Cloud services is 2nd ONLY to IBM's Watson and that is a BIG gap between the two. I'd LOVE Siri to be just as good or better

Azure, Watson, and Siri are three completely different product categories.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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