id8 Group R2 Studios was started in 2011 by investor Blake Krikorian. Recently it launched an Android application to allow users to control home heating and lighting systems from smartphones.
According to Reuters, the buy out looks like Vole wants to expand further in technology focused on the home and entertainment.
Krikorian is famous for Sling Media which made the “Slingbox” for watching TV on computers. Krikorian resigned from Amazon.com’s board in late December after about a year and a half as a director at the company.
Apparently he will join Microsoft with a small team, so this might explain the resignation. If Microsoft is planning a Walled Garden setup this would make it a direct rival to Amazon.
Microsoft also bought patents owned by id8 Group R2 Studios related to controlling electronic devices.
So far the deal has not been announced and Krikorian and Microsoft are not talking about it.