Microsoft has unveiled a thermostat with its Cortana virtual assistant built in adding a suite of smart capabilities into temperature control.
Created in partnership with Johnson Controls, the GLAS thermostat will use Cortana’s smart machine learning and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to track both indoor and outdoor air quality and adjust the thermostat accordingly to a user’s preferences or preassigned settings.
A rather lovely and futuristic looking OLED glass touchscreen displays a neat and slick user interface which offers one way to interact with the thermostat, but it can also be controlled with voice commands.
Microsoft claims that the smart thermostat backed up by its cloud and machine learning chops will help GLAS reduce the energy consumption of a user’s dwelling.
But with Cortana on-board GLAS has a few other smart features under its neatly formed chassis. Microsoft’s smart assistant can manage your calendar, inform a user about traffic in their local area, provide weather forecasts, and display all manner information pulled from Microsoft’s various cloud-based services.
GLAS can also be controlled with a dedicated app for iOS and Android, while a WIndows 10 app is in the work to provide control from desktop machines.
While GLAS is hardly the first smart thermostat, its use of a powerful virtual assistant helps it stand out from the likes of Hive and Nest smart devices. Though it’s worth noting that Samsung has plans to push its Bixby virtual assistant into more smart home devices, meaning more rivals could soon crop up.
And Ecobee4 has brought Amazon’s Alexa to the smart thermostat arena at a price of $249 which beats the $319 price tag GLAS will have when it’s available for preorder in March.
But with Microsoft putting a lot of effort into machine learning, we can expect Cortana to keep getting smarter and for GLAS to be one of the most capable smart thermostats around.
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