Microsoft has acquired R2 Studios, a Silicon Valley start-up with a number of patents relating to communication between mobile devices and home entertainment hardware.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, R2 Studios was also in discussions with Apple and Google prior to agreeing a deal with Microsoft. The company's workforce is expected to relocate to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.
Microsoft's decision to buy R2 Studios is principally informed by patents that will bolster the Xbox as a home entertainment device - the company's technology has already been used to allow smartphones to adjust heating and lighting systems. R2 Studios discussions with Apple and Google are also telling, as both company's are increasingly invested in developing their TV and home entertainment businesses.
R2 Studios was founded by serial entrepreneur Blake Krikorian in 2011. Previously, Kirkorian founded the company behind the Slingbox, which allowed users to watch television on their PCs. He also served on the board at Amazon, though he resigned from the position last week.