Johnson Controls

GLAS smart thermostat gains Alexa and Google Assistant, but it would still prefer you use Cortana when you speak to it

$319 glass thermostat works natively with Microsoft Cortana, but requires a smart speaker to get Alexa and Google Assistant

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If you can't decide which virtual assistant to use when you need the heating turning up, then fear not, because the GLAS smart thermostat by Johnson Controls can talk with Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

With Apple's Siri and Samsung's Bixby perhaps feeling a little left out, the attractive thermostat — transparent and made from glass, hence the name — goes on sale on August 24 for $319 and has an integrated speaker and microphone for assistant interaction.

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When the GLAS was first announced at the CES technology show in January, it only offered Cortana — a left-field choice, given the far greater popularity of Alexa and Google Assistant integration. But, this week, Johnson Controls said the two most-used virtual butlers have joined the party — albeit in a limited capacity. (Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices.)

The catch is how the GLAS only works natively with Microsoft Cortana. If you want to use Alexa or the Google Assistant with your GLAS, then you'll need to buy an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker, install that on your Wi-Fi network, then speak to that instead of the thermostat itself.

So, while the GLASS can work with Alexa, you'll need to ask the assistant to tell the thermostat what to do, rather than just ask the assistant to adjust the temperature. In this sense, it is like most other smart home devices which work with Amazon's assistant, as Alexa (and Google Assistant) isn't baked in.

Much like other smart thermostats from Nest and Ecobee, the GLAS can be controlled remotely and learns your schedule and heating/cooling preferences as you adjust it, then starts to work automatically. Unlike its rivals, the GLAS tracks indoor and outdoor air quality, then adjusts your home's ventilation (should you have such equipment installed) to keep the home's climate as fresh and healthy as possible.


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