Late last year, it was reported that Microsoft, Apple and Google were all speaking to id8 Group R2 Studios Inc. about a potential acquisition of the startup, and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft has indeed sealed the deal. R2 is a home automation and entertainment media startup, founded by Blake Krikorian, former founder of Sling Media. Microsoft hopes to use the startup’s resources, tech and personnel to enhance its Xbox division.
R2 released a product called R2 Control for Crestron that allows it to control home automation systems, managing audio visual and home theatre equipment, lighting, thermostats, security and other connected home devices an Android phones and tablets both at home and remotely. The group holds patents for controlling electronic devices as well as providing the control app for Android, which will be acquired by Microsoft. Krikorian and “a small team” will join Microsoft as employees as part of the deal.
Microsoft could just be buying the company to extend its existing plans to make the Xbox the hub of the family entertainment center.