The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft has beaten Apple to the punch in acquiring id8 Group R2 Studios, a startup specializing in home automation technology. Started by Sling Media founder Blake Krikorian in 2011, the company was being eyed for acquisition by Apple, Microsoft and Google according to reports that surfaced last month. Terms of the deal haven't been disclosed.
The news comes on the heels of reports this week indicating that Apple is keen to explore the realm of home automation technology. Last year, it began selling the Nest smart thermostat and Philips Hue app-controlled lightbulbs through its online and retail stores.
There's little info on exactly what Microsoft intends to have R2 Studios work on, but indications are that the company will be involved with the next Xbox game console in some capacity. Before the acquisition, R2 had released one product, an Android app for communicating with Crestron home automation systems.
[Via Apple Insider]