In late December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple, along with Microsoft and Google, were all interested in acquiring a startup called id8 Group R2 Studios Inc.
R2 Studios, which is developing home-media and automation technology, has remained largely mum about its plans but last year released an app that turns Android phones into touch panels for controlling heating and lighting systems wirelessly. R2 Studios also holds some patents related to controlling electronic devices and interfaces.
Clearly, as the battle for control of the living room remains up for grabs, home automation will increasingly take on greater importance.
In any event, the WSJ has now updated its original story with news that Microsoft acquired R2 Studios for an undisclosed sum.
R2 studios was launched by Blake Krikorian who you might know as the man behind Slingbox. Given Microsoft’s place in the home theatre space with Xbox, it’ll be interesting to see what Krikorian – who will be joining Microsoft along with members of his team – have in store.
While the initial report relayed that R2 studios focused on home-media and automation technology, the most recent report focuses exclusively on the company’s technology as it pertains to distributing and displaying media content. So perhaps the home automation technology angle is a bit premature.
Lastly, the initial WSJ story noted that talks between R2 and the aforementioned companies were all preliminary. In other words, we have no idea just how seriously Apple was, if it all, in acquiring the company.