Blake Krikorian, the guy who made the Slingbox, founded a new startup last year called “id8 Group R2 Studios.” Since then, R2 Studios has released an Android app for controlling a home’s heating and lightning with Cestron. The firm also owns some secretive patents relating to remote device and interface control.
According to a new from The Wall Street Journal, a number of big tech companies (including Google and Apple) have been in talks with R2 Studios about a possible buyout:
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., Google Inc. and Apple Inc. cited as participants.
The report notes that “The status of the discussion and terms under consideration remain unclear. A deal may not happen and some talks may be preliminary.”
Here’s Krikorian explaining how his Android app works with Creston’s home automation system:
While there’s a myriad of reasons Google could be considering an acquisition, Apple’s involvement is particularly interesting. The company’s rumored plans to enter the living room could be part of the equation. It’s interesting that R2 Studios specializes in software, rather than automation hardware.
Former Apple exec Tony Fadell got into the home improvement game with the Nest thermostat, which has gone incredibly well. There’s definitely tons of untapped potential in the space.
Source: The Wall Street Journal