Home automation is a fledgling market, though with the rise of mobile products and wireless connectivity, it seems as if it could be on the verge of explosion. All it takes, one might say, is the right execution – Apple just so happens to be an expert in execution.
R2 Studios has been working for the past few years under a curtain of misinformation. Started by the founder of Slingbox, a popular living room set-top box used for sharing television, the studio then released the Crestron remote control app for Android.
Apple has actually filed various patents that could be viewed as pertaining to home automation over the years, though nothing concrete has yet been established. According to The Wall Street Journal, such a buyout could place Apple firmly in the lead of the young industry:
A secretive startup founded by the man who popularized the Slingbox has been in talks with companies considering buying it, people close to the company say, with Microsoft Corp. cited as participants.
The startup, id8 Group R2 Studios Inc., was created in May 2011 by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian. He founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox for watching TV on computers, and sold it to EchoStarSATS +0.53% in 2007.
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.
While a consumer play is the more exciting idea to think about, it is also possible that this would be an “aqhirement,” where Apple would simply gain the workforce of R2 Studios and any talent that entails. Or, it could also be for patents; we all know how much Apple enjoys those.