Apple in Talks to Acquire Home Automation Firm R2 Studios
Apple, Microsoft and Google are all potential buyers for home automation firm R2 Studios, part of the id8 Group founded by Blake Krikorian, according to the Wall Street Journal. He was the founder of Sling Media, makers of the SlingBox that was later sold to EchoStar/Dish Network.
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.
The status of the discussion and terms under consideration remain unclear. A deal may not happen and some talks may be preliminary.
The WSJ reports that R2 also owns some patents related to "controlling electronic devices and interfaces", in addition to its existing app work. R2 could fit in nicely with Apple's rumored expansion plans, including its efforts to remake television viewing.
The market for home automation has been seeing a lot of activity recently, with former Apple executive Tony Fadell's company releasing the Nest thermostat last year. AT&T has announced plans to get into the home automation market as well.