Johnson Controls, the company that invented the electric room thermostat back in 1885, said on August 24 it will begin shipping the long-awaited GLAS – a well-designed thermostat with a transparent glass touchscreen, which will compete head-to-head with similar offerings from Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell.
The GLAS features a 6-inch and eyeglass-think OLED touchscreen. Besides showing current temperatures, it also provides information on indoor and outdoor air quality, humidity and energy savings.
The product is built on Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core operating system and powered by AI assistant Cortana. With microphone and speaker built-in, homeowners can talk to Cortana in the thermostat, asking general information or schedules on the Outlook calendar.
Since the device is deeply integrated with Microsoft’s services and products, the GLAS can also show users’ Microsoft Outlook information on the display.
The thermostat also supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls. If homeowners have an Echo or a Google Home at home, they can ask the assistant to adjust temperatures via voice.
Homeowners have other options to control the thermostat, including using mobile phone, tablet or web browser.
The GLAS is similar to the Nest Learning Thermostat, and can learn homeowners’ life style and schedules and adjust temperatures accordingly. It’s also like the Ecobee4 with a built-in voice assistant, but stands out with its glass design.
The GLAS smart thermostat will begin shipping on August 24 at US$319.
It’s the first thermostat to have Cortana built-in, but not the last device have the assistant built-in. Microsoft has announced plans to bring Cortana to more devices like refrigerators and toasters.