GLAS thermostat adds Alexa and Google Assistant support as preorders open

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The striking GLAS thermostat has gained Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, with the two new AIs joining Cortana as the smart home gadget goes up for preorder. Announced last year, the voice-controlled HVAC controller has a distinctive translucent OLED screen which stands proud of the wall it's mounted on.

That can show not only the current settings for the heating and air conditioning systems, but weather reports and more. "Beautiful" isn't typically a word you'd associate with a thermostat, despite the best efforts of companies like Nest in recent years to make their products more visually appealing. Johnson Controls went several steps further, however.

The GLAS smart thermostat supports both voice and touchscreen control, with the display used to show indoor and outdoor air quality along with showing what energy savings the household may have achieved. GLAS can automatically manage not only the temperature, but knows to turn on a fan or other ventilation systems if volatile organic compounds or carbon dioxide levels get uncomfortably high.

When it was first announced, it was to be one of the few smart home devices using Microsoft's Cortana. Indeed, Johnson Controls has used a Windows 10 Internet of Things core for the thermostat. In the meantime, though, Cortana has struggled to gain traction in the standalone IoT device market.

As a result, Johnson Controls has taken the sensible step of expanding GLAS' assistant options. Owners will be able to use Alexa or the Google Assistant to control the temperature, get weather reports, and other features. However, it seems there won't be native support baked-in.

Instead, you'll need an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or some other smart speaker with support for one of those services, which will act as a bridge to the GLAS thermostat. The idea, though, is that you won't really need to do much manual control. GLAS is designed to learn the household's schedule and automatically adjust its own settings to maintain a comfortable temperature while also erring on the side of energy saving.

If that sounds like something you're onboard with too, GLAS is up for preorder now. Priced at $319, it'll begin shipping from August 24.

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