Just over a year ago, we reported on GLAS, an upcoming Cortana-powered thermostat. At the time, it seemed exclusive to the assistant, but a lot has changed. Cortana is clearly not the dominant force Johnson Controls expected it to be, and it's launching with alternatives.
“GLAS now works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant in addition to Microsoft Cortana®, allowing users to control thermostat functions such as temperature changes with their voice using a smart device connected to each service, such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker,” said the company. “Users can ask Alexa, the Google Assistant or Cortana to adjust the temperature, and the GLAS smart thermostat can be controlled hands-free. With these enhanced voice-control capabilities, GLAS creates a seamless experience communicating with a home.”
To be clear, GLAS still seems like a Microsoft-first device. It's built on the Windows 10 IoT Core and Azure and is proving Alexa and Google Assistant primarily for convenience. Assumedly, it will also be able to take advantage of the Alexa via Cortana integration, which launched recently.
Moving Away from Smart Home
Though Microsoft provided Johnson with the backbone for its thermostat, it's unlikely to be too miffed by this development. The Redmond giant is angling Cortana away from convenience and towards assistance.
It's a subtle difference but means a stronger productivity focus rather than on your table and controlling your light switches. This is propelled primarily by Microsoft's lack of smart speaker and Amazon's dominance in that area.
Meanwhile, Google has a huge reach with its assistant due to baked-in functionality in a number of Android phones. As a result, it makes sense for GLAS to let users interact using their PC or optional smartphone app, with added support for speakers if they require it.
Either way, the device is visually stunning and promises unrivaled energy via schedule monitoring. It's available for pre-order now for its $319 release on August 24.