Microsoft enters smart thermostat arena with Cortana built in

The latest company to enter the smart thermostat arena is Microsoft. Planning to take a slice of sales away from Hive and Nest, Microsoft has announced that its GLAS thermostat will be on the market soon. Unlike both Hive and Nest, the GLAS thermostat will come with Microsoft’s voice-assistant Cortana built in. Both other market leaders can be controlled via an external voice assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s home but lack a built-in assistant.

Developed in partnership with Johnson Controls, the swish looking GLAS thermostat was unveiled quietly via YouTube. As well as being voice-controlled, the GLAS also includes a touchscreen (sort of like a tablet) to allow manual controls and check on temperature, air quality readings and calendar schedule.

The YouTube video claims that sensors will allow GLAS to detect when people are in a room, allowing it to change heating and air control systems accordingly. Built on Windows 10 IoT Core, the GLAS will include support for Azure cloud services to.

The GLAS thermostat could signal more joint ventures involving Microsoft’s voice-assistant Cortana. Last year, Microsoft said it would open up access to Cortana in order to bring out more IoT devices at a quicker rate. A smart speaker in conjunction with Kardon is also reportedly in the pipeline as Microsoft looks to step up its IoT presence.

There’s no word of pricing or availability for GLAS as of yet, but when it hits the shelves it will be very interesting to see if it can make a dent on Hive and Nest’s joint dominance of the thermostat arena.

Johnson Controls is a multinational conglomerate with its headquartered in Cork, Ireland. Asides from creating smart thermostats, the company produces automotive parts such as batteries and electronics and HVAC equipment for buildings.

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