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01-03-2013, 11:23 AM #1
Microsoft Acquires Home Automation Company Before Apple
Although Apple showed interest in buying the home automation company, R2 Studios, Microsoft ended up making the acquisition. The rivalís purchase of id8 Group R2 Studios was recently revealed by The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. This specific acquisition is said to improve Microsoftís Xbox division, which is expected to introduce a next-generation gaming console later in the year.
Both Apple and Microsoft were on the list of potential byers last month along with the other tech giant, Google. The company being acquired was originally created in 2011 by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian, who founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox home TV streaming device. The price that Microsoft paid for R2 Studios is currently unknown but the acquisition doesnít have any products on the market yet, aside from an Android application that can control heating and lighting systems.
The Cupertino California company continues to show interest in the home automation market through patent applications but has not yet released any such products. Apple has used its popular chain of retail stores to highlight third-party home automation technology that integrates with the iOS platform for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The brick-and-mortar retail stores are the exclusive home of the Philips hue app-controlled lightbulbs, which are the wireless bulbs that communicate with a base station and can have their brightness and color adjusted from a compatible iOS application. The stores are also home to the Next Learning Thermostat, a device that intelligently reduces usersí power bills and connects to iOS devices with an accompanying application available on the App Store.
Source: The Wall Street Journal