While Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant continue to build ubiquity in homes across the globe, spare a thought for Microsoft’s Cortana. While in PCs in the millions, when it comes to other hardware, Cortana’s most notable deployment remains Master Chief’s helmet. Last year’s Harmon Kardon Invoke was a solid debut that failed to gain traction in the marketplace, and since then, crickets. So, it was somewhat of a surprise when Johnson Controls announced that their new GLAS smart thermostat would be packing Microsoft’s voice assistant. While GLAS also supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (you can be sure the inventors of the electric room thermostat aren’t going to ignore two thriving ecosystems) the partnership with Microsoft runs deep. Built on the versatile Qualcomm Snapdragon 410E embedded platform, GLAS runs on Windows IOT Core with the Microsoft Azure cloud providing back-end infrastructure. A recipe to make Microsoft fans salivate, for sure, but at $319, it’s pricier than both the Nest Learning Thermostat and Ecobee 4, both leading contenders in an increasingly competitive market. The smart thermostat – reinvented? Even a brief glance at GLAS will tell you it’s a brave attempt to reinvent the smart thermostat. A gorgeous, five-inch translucent OLED touchscreen sits… Read full this story
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