For the average consumer, Nest is to smart thermostats as Kleenex is to facial tissue and iPads are to tablets. What kind of iPhone is that? Is it a Samsung? Microsoft is looking to make a huge impact in the Internet of Things industry by unleashing its smart assistant everywhere in your smart home. And this Cortana thermostat is leading the charge by controlling your home’s temperature and air quality.


Microsoft isn’t making the hardware itself. Instead, what you see here is GLAS by Johnson Controls, the company that made the first electric room thermostat. It’s definitely a slick little number with its translucent touchscreen display, giving you quick access to all sorts of controls and readouts, including air quality.

To be powered by Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Core operating system, GLAS will also support Cortana voice services, so you can simply tell it (presumably) that you want to set your “away” temperature to 70 degrees, for example. Based on the promotional video embedded above, it looks like Johnson Controls and Microsoft are positioning this Cortana thermostat not only for smart homes, but also for commercial properties like your dentist’s office.

Cortana has come a long way since it was first introduced a little over three years ago, but it has yet to reach the same kind of widespread use and adoption as something like Siri or Alexa. It’s baked into Windows 10, but how many people are actually using it?

In addition to GLAS, you might remember that Microsoft also partnered up to make a smart speaker by Harman Kardon. This will continue with plans to integrate Cortana into more Internet of Things devices, like fridges and toasters too. You’ll also notice that GLAS leverages the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. The future might be friendly, but it’s also watching your every move.

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