Apple, Google, and Microsoft all vying to purchase home automation company

Apple, Google, and Microsoft all vying to purchase home automation company
Home automation is one of those things that always sounds great, but also never really seems to show up. We've seen cartoons about the House of Tomorrow for a long time now, but aside from refridgerators that can tweet, and maybe options to control heat or lighting, most houses don't have much as far as automation. But, it looks like three tech giants are looking to get serious as Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all reportedly vying to purchase a home automation company.

The company is called R2 Studios, and while the company hasn't released many actual products yet, it did release an Android app last year that let users control heating and lighting systems in their homes from a mobile device. It also owns patents related to interfaces and controlling electronic devices (and that may be the real key for at least one of the companies involved in this rumor). 

Microsoft has been talking about home automation since Bill Gates was showing off his pimped out crib, but that was close to 10 years ago, and any products from Redmond are still just vaporware. Google has been showing some very interesting stuff over the last couple years with Android@Home, and Android has been making it into more and more household appliances, especially Samsung appliances (which aren't necessarily compatible with Android@Home), so it is the company that seems most likely to make good use of the R2 Studios acquisition. 

Apple is the odd one out, because the company has never really shown an interest in home automation. The closest the company has gotten is having an employee release a thermostat (#12 on the list in the link) through his own company. And, unless Apple is going to really break its tightly controlled ecosystem and allow other appliance manufacturers to start making "Apple" products, it's hard to imagine what Apple would get from the deal beyond the R2 patent portfolio. 

source: WSJ via The Verge

FEATURED VIDEO

17 Comments

1. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Apple wants this company just for the sake of happiness *cough* suing *cough* other *cough* companies *cough* and to innovate *cough* steal *cough*.

2. imnotascammer

Posts: 160; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

True. +1

3. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

"It also owns patents related to interfaces and controlling electronic devices " Well that why the sharks are circle it. Just sell to those idiots for 15Billons and retire.

4. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

All 3 could do some useful things with it. I just dont want Apple to get it because I dont have any Apple products....lol. I hope Google gets it for my sake. Seriously.....Android and home automation is a good match. Android is in just about everything else.

8. MeoCao unregistered

I agree, I'm much more comfortable with Google controling key technologies.

5. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

I think that Microsoft would be the best bet on this one... mainly because they will make the software for it compatible with all mobile devices, regardless of OS. Apple won't share, and Google won't allow it on MS devices.

6. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Google would allow it on MS devices as soon as it would be worth it for them too.

10. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Its worth it now. Google makes their money from advertising, they could offer their products on any platform and make money. However, for some reason, they haven't developed windows phone versions of any of their products.

11. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

because the user base just isn't there yet.

12. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

There's enough of a user base to warrant it. I think its more of the fact that Microsoft competes with Google where it actually makes money. Apple doesn't offer alot of competing services, where as MS does.

13. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

that's just what you think and that doesn't matter. Google has never been hesitant in offering their services to products that'll help them make money. remember Google is primarily a service company.

14. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

The point is... Google can make money by offering their services to WP8/WP7 users, they just don't. Apparently they have been hesitant in this aspect.

15. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

but they don't think it'll be enough to justify the resources used for development. they've been down the road before with WP7.

16. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Its a phone. You don't need alot of resources to develop for the platform. An independent developer could write a google app for the OS in less than a month. That includes working or going to school full time. Google could put together a five man team and probably push out an app a week if they wanted.

17. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

of course they could but there's a lot more to it than that. it's not something you just finish real quick, put out and say you're done. you've got to keep it updated, squash bugs and add support for different devices for as long as the platform exsists. there's a threshold for when it's just not worth it and for Google WP is beyond that threshold but just for now.

7. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I'd rather see them all go in on this one together like Apple and Google did for Kodak's patents. If any single one company gets it, then it's a loss for consumers.

9. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Best answer. You don't want one company with majority/dominant control of your home electronics. Give all 3 company patents and let them work it out themselves to be compatible with another.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.