Microsoft’s Cortana turns up heat with smart thermostat

Microsoft has unveiled the first smart thermostat that comes with integrated Cortana voice controls, built in partnership with Johnson Controls, an Irish manufacturing conglomerate.

The thermostat, named GLAS, will run the Windows 10 IoT Core operating system, designed for Internet of Things devices like smart fridges, smoke detectors, and door locks. Users will be able to adjust the temperature in a room, check air quality, and view calendar information.

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Like most smart thermostats, the temperature will change on the fly and it will modify as it learns a user’s preferences. GLAS has motion sensors to recognize if someone is in the room, and can hear voice commands from other rooms.

Johnson Controls has designed GLAS, a translucent piece of glass that attaches to any wall. Microsoft will supply the cloud services to run the thermostat through Azure.

The promotional video for GLAS seems to be aimed at commercial properties, like hotels. The collaboration with Johnson Controls adds to the potential commercial focus, although we haven’t heard anything from Microsoft regarding the release date or price.

Microsoft has been looking for a route into the growing smart home market, currently a free-for-all with Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung competing for users. The thermostat could be Microsoft’s first short, as it is the staple device for most vendors, often doubling as a hub.

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