Johnson Controls Launches New Smart Thermostat

GLAS thermostat Source: Johnson Controls


GLAS, as it’s known, is the first smart thermostat of its kind to utilize a translucent OLED touchscreen display to control its functions. Users touch the screen to change the temperature, monitor indoor and outdoor air quality, track energy savings or perform other functions. Alternately, GLAS can be controlled by mobile app or by voice, using Microsoft’s voice-enabled digital assistant, Cortana. When it’s not in use, the screen blends in with a home or building’s environment.

“Developing GLAS really allowed our team to think outside of the box, understand consumers and create a customer-backed design that is both beautiful in form and also very functional,” said Don Albinger, vice president & general manager, building automation systems, Johnson Controls. “We wanted to take our experience of designing thermostats for industrial applications and enhance the features, function and user interface of the thermostat to create a more efficient and innovative way to control a space.”

GLAS tracks and assesses multiple aspects of air quality to ensure that occupants are consistently comfortable, knowing that a healthy home starts with the air its residents breathe. In addition to temperature, GLAS reports humidity, total volatile organic compounds (tVOC) and equivalent carbon dioxide (eCO2) inside a home or building. When it is internet-connected, GLAS also monitors tree, grass and ragweed pollen count; ultraviolet (UV) index; and air quality index (AQI)—including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. When air quality falls below moderate levels, GLAS can intelligently operate a fan or ventilation equipment.

GLAS adapts to a user’s schedule to intuitively and attentively maintain a comfortable space while it saves energy. Its automation programming is easy to understand and takes the hassle out of setting individual preferences. After a user sets preferred temperatures for home, away and sleeping, GLAS’ smart logic helps save energy by detecting when a home is occupied or empty, and automatically adjusts its settings accordingly.

Use of Technology

With Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, GLAS allows interactive communication with a user’s home. Users can easily adjust, refine and redefine their space with voice control. Cortana allows users to check and audibly receive indoor and outdoor temperatures, set increases or decreases in thermostat temperature and obtain the current weather forecast by using their voice, among other skills.

Additionally, GLAS provides an intuitive experience, whether interacting with the device itself or the GLAS app on mobile, tablet or web browser. Using mobile apps for iOS and Android operating systems, users can access GLAS controls and statistics with the same interface from the device, eliminating any learning curve.

Microsoft is a leading provider of IoT services for devices, software and cloud. GLAS utilizes Microsoft’s Azure IoT cloud platform and Windows 10 IoT Core, leveraging the Windows platform, security and update infrastructures. Together, Windows 10 IoT Core and the Azure cloud platform provide secure, intelligent technology systems for connected buildings and homes.

GLAS is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410E embedded platform that combines quad-core processing capability, Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® connectivity in an integrated system-on-chip solution, reducing system complexity while supporting small form factors. The Snapdragon 410E is designed with high performance, energy efficiency, multimedia features and integrated connectivity that help GLAS meet the requirements of its building automation and industrial control applications.

Temperature automation
GLAS is designed to create a consistently comfortable space and does so by leveraging Johnson Controls’ experience in automation and proprietary temperature control algorithms. GLAS provides reporting of equipment run-time as well as a related seven-day trailing report of a user’s energy savings. GLAS also provides seven-day scheduling that can be customized according to user preferences. Comfort settings include pre-start heating/cooling and fan and ventilation options based on temperature and air quality.

Residential and commercial installations
GLAS can be installed in residential settings as well as commercial applications, such as office buildings or retail stores. GLAS has been designed to adapt to a wide range of installations, including commercial buildings. The thermostat supports most 24VAC heating and cooling systems, including most gas, electric, oil, radiant and forced air systems. It supports one and two stage conventional heating and cooling as well as heat pumps and single-speed fans, and has an auxiliary output to control humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilators, energy recovery ventilators or heat recovery ventilators. The low-profile, 5.6″ x 5″ unit and the OLED screen features an integrated touch controller and crisp resolution.



Vendors mentioned in this article:

  • Johnson Controls
  • Microsoft
  • Qualcomm



Mark your calendars: The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.



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