Microsoft has a new toy to play with in R2 Studios, a Silicon Valley start-up that the company acquired after beating out competing bids from Apple and Google, as the Wall Street Journal reports (via GI.biz). R2 specializes in mobile tech, with a number of patents geared toward pairing portable devices with home media center hardware.
The word is that the patents are what drove Microsoft's decision to buy R2, with the company's employees reportedly being relocated to work with the Xbox team at their Redmond, Washington campus. It's possible that R2 will contribute to the continued development of Xbox SmartGlass, an initiative that will undoubtedly grow in scale when Microsoft enters the eighth generation of gaming hardware.
R2's patents have already been used to give smartphones wireless control over at-home heating and lighting systems. The company was founded in 2011 by Blake Krikorian, a former Amazon board member who also founded Sling Media, the company behind Slingbox.