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Microsoft Has A Slick New Thermostat That Features Cortana, But It’s Really Expensive

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Back in July, Microsoft together with Johnson Controls unveiled GLAS, a smart thermostat to be powered by digital assistant Cortana. More details about the smart home device have now surfaced.

First off, GLAS looks quite elegant. It features a translucent OLED glass display for controlling temperature, monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality, and checking the weather. It looks like something that would appear in a futuristic Black Mirror episode.

GLAS Smart Thermostat

The thermostat comes preloaded with Cortana, which is able to display information and respond to voice commands such as, "Hey Cortana, set the temperature to 68 degrees." Moreover, Cortana also helps manages a user's calendar, inform them about traffic information, and even answer questions, as would a typical smart speaker.

GLAS also adapts to its user's schedule so it saves energy by automatically turning heating or cooling systems off when the homeowners aren't around. Once they arrive home, the device kicks back into full gear and adjusts its settings to keep the space comfortable and energy efficient.

Users can access GLAS through different platforms, such as mobile, tablet, and even web browsers. A Windows 10 app is scheduled to arrive soon, according to Microsoft.

GLAS Smart Thermostat Pricing And Release Date

The GLAS' striking translucent display will definitely complement any room it's put in, but elegance and sleekness come at a price. Johnson Controls says the thermostat is now available for preorder at $319 and should start shipping by March. By contrast, the Alexa-powered Ecobee is significantly cheaper at $249, but it doesn't look as nice as GLAS. Customers willing to shell out the extra bucks to get that beautiful translucent display would have the honor of owning what's probably the best-designed thermostat thus far.

Again, the GLAS is powered by Cortana, a relatively untested assistant in the smart home landscape. That's not to say it wouldn't perform well, only that customers would probably seek either Google Assistant or Alexa first. Still, this is a huge deal for Microsoft because it wants to prove that Cortana is more than just a desktop assistant. So far, the company has been lagging in both smart home and mobile deployment, especially with the folding of Windows Phone. It needs every help it can get to get Cortana out there.

GLAS runs on Microsoft's Windows 10 IoT Core operating system and comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410E chip, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It's supposed to be compatible with most 24VAC heating and cooling systems. Preorder information is available at the Johnson Controls website.

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