It’s fair to say that the smartphone has defined the last decade of our technological lives. But as smartphone growth slows, many are wondering what will be the next hot tech to radically transform the way we live.
What comes next likely won’t be just one thing, but a host of varying devices that will make up the Internet of Things–smart connected devices that will be everywhere, from our kitchens to our offices, to our streets.
Matter of fact, Internet of Things devices are already showing up–and have been for years and by 2020 the Internet of Things market is expected to be a $267 billion market annually. But to give you an idea of how fast growth is expected, by just 2022—only two years later—the Internet of Things market will be a $561 billion annual market.
It’s no wonder then that everyone is getting into the Internet of Things business. In the home, right now the most popular Internet of Things device is probably the Nest thermostat, owned by Google. But now the Nest has some serious competition from Microsoft, who just announced its new GLAS thermostat. So just what is GLAS and when will it be out? Here’s everything you need to know.
Microsoft GLAS: What Is It?
GLAS is Microsoft’s new smart thermostat. Actually, Microsoft doesn’t get all the credit here. GLAS is actually made via a partnership between Microsoft and Johnson Controls, who made the first electric thermostats years ago. But GLAS is different from other smart thermostats like Nest, which usually allow you to control them via apps. GLAS instead opts for control from Microsoft’s smart AI assistant, Cortana.
Microsoft GLAS: Design
There’s no doubt about it: GLAS is freaking beautiful. Honestly, it makes the Nest look like an archaic piece of hardware your great grandma owned. GLAS (and you can see where the name comes from now) has an aluminum edge that attaches the thermostat to the wall and rising up from that edge is a translucent touch screen that shows things like the temperature and other touch controls. It’s for this translucent touch screen that we want GLAS alone. It’s absolutely jaw-dropping.
Microsoft GLAS: Features
GLAS does the normal things most smart thermostats do: allows you to set temperature changes for a certain time, allowing you to adjust the temperature manually, etc. But GLAS can also detect when people are in the room or not and set the temperature accordingly.
It also has the ability to measure the quality of the air in your space and show you the inside and outside temps. And it does all this through a beautiful touch screen interface on a translucent panel. Here’s Microsoft’s official spiel on what GLAS can do:
“Heating and cooling account for roughly 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most families. In the commercial building sector, the cost is approximately 40%. Johnson Controls, one of the leading providers of HVAC, Fire and Security systems in the world, is changing how spaces are viewed and controlled. As the inventors of the first thermostat, Johnson Controls has innovated once again with GLAS. Utilizing Windows 10 IoT Core, Cortana voice services, and Azure Cloud, GLAS is a simple to use, elegant thermostat that brings leading energy savings and air quality monitoring to everyday spaces. Johnson Controls is reinventing the thermostat and our lives.”
Microsoft GLAS: Cortana
The other big feature of GLAS is that it will have Microsoft’s Cortana AI built in. Though Microsoft hasn’t said what kind of features Cortana will enable, it’s a given you’ll be able to interact with GLAS by issuing voice commands to Cortana.
Microsoft GLAS: Price & Release Date
Unfortunately, there is no set release date or price for GLAS just yet.