You’ve probably never heard of id8 Group R2 Studios, but apparently the home automation and entertainment startup--a project of Blake Krikorian, founder of Slingbox
maker Sling Media--was a highly sought after commodity, attracting the attention of industry giants including Apple, Google, and Microsoft
According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft ended up with the prize (and reportedly, Krikorian himself), and although nabbing yet another intriguing tech startup is something the big tech companies do all the time, R2 Studios offers a lot that may help elevate Microsoft’s home technology portfolio to a new level.
On the one hand, R2 Studios’ technology could help bring more TV entertainment to the Xbox
platform, but it could also give Redmond a full toolbox for implementing home automation technology on the system.
Home automation as the Next Big Thing in consoles makes sense; if our gaming units, phones, tablets, and TVs are all effectively interconnected and running on platforms that play nicely with each other, why not our lights, thermostats, security systems, ovens, washing machines, and more? R2 Studios already has an app on the Google Play Store for use with Creston Control systems, so it’s not much of a stretch to think that Microsoft will build those same sort of capabilities into its product offerings at some point in the relatively near future.
Nothing has been officially announced yet, so this is all still speculation, but we wouldn’t be surprised to hear more news in the days leading up to CES.