Taking on Amazon and Alphabet, Microsoft has teased its first Cortana-powered smart thermostat, GLAS, for home and business in a new YouTube video.
Brought to life by Johnson Controls, the inventor of the first electric room thermostat, GLAS leverages a combination of core operating system and Azure cloud computing services to detect your presence in the room as well as the quality of indoor and outdoor air – all while saving energy.
The teaser, which was released on 19 July, shows off GLAS with a beautifully designed see-through screen. The screen lets you adjust room temperatures, check energy usage, air quality and see calendar information from time to time.
But, apart from an elegant design and a few tidbits including voice triggered temperature control, the video doesn't go deep into Microsoft's latest take in the home automation segment.
We could be seeing more of Cortana
Voice control via Cortana is a key feature on the smart thermostat, but it doesn't come as a surprise for most of us. Microsoft had previously hinted at plans to extend its digital voice assistant beyond computers (on third party smart home devices) and GLAS could just be the right place for the Redmond giant to get on with its grander plan. Before the thermostat, the company had also unveiled Harman Kardon's Invoke speakers in a similar fashion. While Invoke is due for a fall release, chances are, we'll be seeing more of Cortana-powered appliances in the near future.
We still don't know how much Microsoft GLAS will cost or when it will be released to consumers in the UK or US, but one thing's pretty much confirmed, the Cortana-powered thermostat will go straight against leaders in the segment, especially Alphabet's immensely attractive Nest and Alexa- powered Ecobee4.