Well, this is certainly interesting. While the battle for the living room rages on - and indeed everyone is anticipating an Apple HDTV - the Wall Street Journal recently reported that some of the tech world's heaviest hitters are interested in acquiring a home automation company.
Specifically, the report notes that Apple, Microsoft and Google are all interested in the startup id8 Group R2 Studios Inc, a startup founded by none other than Blake Krikorian, who just so happens to be the man behind Slingbox.
R2 Studios, which is developing home-media and automation technology, has remained largely mum about its plans but last year released an app that turns Android phones into touch panels for controlling heating and lighting systems wirelessly. R2 Studios also holds some patents related to controlling electronic devices and interfaces.
The status of the discussion and terms under consideration remain unclear. A deal may not happen and some talks may be preliminary.
While home automation may not sound as alluring on its face as an HDTV from Apple, home automation from a mobile device is undoubtedly enticing and it'll be interesting to see if Apple decides to jump into the market anytime soon with some Cupertino-style innovation.
And speaking of innovation, TIME Magazine recently ran a profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook that is certainly worthy of a gander. While most of the profile contains information we've heard before, this excerpt with respect to Apple's ability to innovate post-Jobs is particularly worth mentioning.
[T]he test for Cook will be to seek out a new category that’s vulnerable to disruption and disrupt the hell out of it.
I ask Cook if he would do that — if that would continue to be Apple’s modus operandi going forward. He smiles, seductively as always, and says, “Yes. Yes. Most definitely.” When that happens, that’s when Cook will show his hand, and we’ll get a look below the surface. He’ll do the unexpected thing and double down on something new. And when he does, that’s when the rest of the world will see what Jobs saw in him.
While it remains to be seen if Apple led by Tim Cook can sustain the company's furious pace of innovation, there's no doubting that Tim Cook is up for the challenge. Perhaps it'll manifest in the form of a connected HDTV, or per the aforementioned article, home automation. Either way, 2013 should be interesting.