Microsoft unveils Cortana-powered thermostat

Credit Microsoft

Taking on Amazon and Alphabet, Microsoft has teased its first Cortana-powered smart thermostat, GLAS, for home and business in a new YouTube video.

The rather stunning looking thermostat was quietly unveiled in the YouTube video below - hat tip The Verge for spotting.

The appliance was built in partnership with the leading technology company Johnson Controls. One can manually control the device through this touchscreen and also keep track of information such as calendar schedule, air quality readings, and temperature.

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Microsoft appears to be marketing GLAS for consumers and businesses. GLAS would be the first thermostat to be powered by Cortana, featuring voice controls and sensors created to save energy by monitoring and altering the temperature when you're both away or in the room.

GLAS runs on the Windows 10 IoT Core and Microsoft cloud computing service Azure. "Heating and cooling account for roughly 48 percent of the energy use in a typical US home, making it the largest energy expense for most families". "In the commercial building sector, the cost is approximately 40 percent". Cortana gives the device another twist by enabling voice commands. Apparently, the thermostat can detect the presence of people and can collect air quality data for both indoors and outdoors, sending usage reports each day.

Microsoft's Windows 10 IoT Core is the basis on which this thermostat was built.

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According to internal concepts, Cortana is a big part of Microsoft's plans in the smart home space, and that can be seen in the integration of Cortana's voice controls in the GLAS smart thermostat. It is Microsoft's first home thermostat, which can be managed using its virtual assistant.

Unfortunately, there is no set release date or price for GLAS just yet.

The GLAS thermostat could signal more joint ventures involving Microsoft's voice-assistant Cortana.

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