It was reported that Apple is considering buying a home automation company called R2 Studios. However, Google and Microsoft are also said to be eyeing the company.
In a report posted on The Wall Street Journal last Thursday, all three companies were said to be in talks with startup id8 Group R2 Studios Inc. The home automation company was created last year by entrepreneur Blake Krikorian, who founded Sling Media Inc. that developed the Slingbox TV streaming device.
More About R2 Studios and its Products
R2 Studios is developing home automation technology, although they are yet to bring their products in the market. However, they have an Android application—which is now available in Google Play—that can control heating and lighting systems. As posted on their Google Play page:
R2 turns your Android device into a fully functional Crestron touchpanel! R2 enables residential and commercial customers to control AV, lighting, thermostats, security systems, and thousands of other products via their Android device from anywhere in the world.
Google and Apple in Home Automation Market
Apple, on the other hand, has not directly entered the home automation market. However, the Cupertino-based company has arranged deals to sell home accessories that are compatible with iOS devices. The iPhone maker recently reached an exclusive agreement to sell an app-controlled LED bulb called Philips hue.
Apple’s retail stores also have Nest Learning Thermostat, which intelligently reduces user’s power bills and connects to iOS devices with an accompanying application available on the App Store. The Nest was designed by Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive who is also credited with the creation of the original iPod click-wheel interface.
In relation to this, the company showed interest in home automation with its patent applications that was discovered last July. The patent filing showed how multiple devices, including Apple hardware and third-party devices such as cable boxes, PlayStation gaming controllers, and home sprinkler systems. These devices could be connected and controlled using near-field communication technology.
Google, on the other hand, has been more public about its interest in home automation. During their annual I/O Conference in 2011, the search engine giant announced that they would release a LED light bulb that can be controlled by Android devices. Their secretive “X” labs are said to house the concepts for connected devices, which includes everything that can be found at home from garden planters to coffee pots.