Microsoft continues to put its artificial intelligence, Cortana, in everything as part of a larger effort to make everyday products more connected and easier to use. The company teamed up with popular thermostat maker Johnson Controls to create GLAS, a sleek new touchscreen wall thermostat that promises to do much more than just turn up the heat. Microsoft debuted the smart control center with a slick video, showing off the device's gorgeous interface. The touchscreen unit can supposedly sense when people are in the room, automatically change settings for energy savings, provide daily reports about air quality, keep track of your calendar and more. GLAS will run on the Windows 10 IoT Core OS, which is made specifically for smart devices.
Microsoft's vision for the smart home is finally taking shape. Following a demonstration of how its Cortana virtual assistant would work in cars and living rooms last May, the company just revealed it's working on a smart thermostat called GLAS. The device was built by Johnson Controls and is powered by Microsoft technologies like its Azure cloud platform, Cortana voice helper and Windows IoT core, a version of Windows 10 that's optimized for smaller devices. The company unveiled GLAS in a new YouTube video that offers a brief overview of what it's up to. Contrasted with rivals like the Nest Learning Thermostat and Honeywell Lyric, both of which have round shapes that resemble more traditional thermostats, GLAS appears to be a sleek, transparent touchscreen mounted on a wall.
After months of delays, Johnson Controls' GLAS smart thermostat hit the pre-order stage this week. The thermostat, which is available on both Amazon and Johnson Controls' sites, costs $319 and will ship starting August 24, as reported by MSPowerUser.com. Microsoft and Johnson Controls originally hinted about the coming Windows 10 IoT/Cortana-powered GLAS thermostat in the summer of 2017. In January 2018, Johnson Controls said the device would be available for pre-order in March 2018 (which didn't happen). The GLAS thermostat, which uses a Snapdragon 410E embedded platform, has a translucent OLED touchscreen display for controlling temperature, monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality, and checking the weather.
Google Home is bumping up its smart home capabilities to better compete with Amazon's Echo lineup. The search giant just announced that you can now use Home to turn on Belkin WeMo products such as smart plugs and light switches. Google Home is also supporting Honeywell thermostats for those times you need to turn up the heat without getting off your chair. The new Home features should be available now. You can check by opening the Google Home app on your phone.