Facebook F8 Conference: Parse Launches SDKs for the Internet of Things

Facebook expands Parse to allow software developers to build applications for the Internet of Things.

Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar speaking at Facebook's 2015 F8 developers conference. Photo: Facebook Inc.

Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar speaking at Facebook's 2015 F8 developers conference. Photo: Facebook Inc.

Facebook has recently launched new software development kits (SDKs) for Parse, the application platform and mobile infrastructure company owned by Facebook, to let developers incorporate data from Internet-connected devices. The news was officially announced during the 1 Day of Facebook’s developer-oriented F8 conference in San Francisco on March 26, 2015.

Facebook representatives aim to make it easier for developers to weave data from connected devices into their applications. “Companies like Chamberlain are using this [Parse] to build great connected experiences for your home,” Ilya Sukhar, Parse Founder and CEO, said at the event.

According to a blog post on Parse website, Arduino and Embedded C SDKs are now available.

“Today, we’re proud to announce Parse for IoT: an official new line of SDKs for connected devices. The first is an Arduino SDK targeted for the Arduino Yún, a microcontroller board with built-in WiFi capabilities. The SDK interface is in Wiring, and, in the spirit of Arduino, we designed it to be as simple as possible.

From there, the data will be available in your Parse app ready to be retrieved by your mobile app, another device, or simply logged for analytics purposes. Beyond the Yún, we’re already working on SDKs for upcoming platforms such as the Arduino Zero with the WiFi 101 shield. In addition, we’re releasing an Embedded C SDK, targeted for Linux and Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS). These open source SDKs serve as reference implementations that are being used by leading chipset manufacturers to provide support for their hardware platforms. The C SDK provides a simple interface for our REST API.”

Users are able to find these SDKs on GitHub, as well as a full set of Quick Starts and Guides on Parse. With these SDKs, one’s device will be able to receive push notifications, save data, and take advantage of the Parse Cloud. It is easy to get started from scratch, and the process should be very familiar for developers who already use Parse.

The possibilities of new software development kits are endless: one can make a smart thermostat that can be controlled via a mobile application, or a security camera that saves images every minute, or even a music device that can be controlled via a web application.

It is not surprising that Facebook is making more of an effort in the Internet of Things, which has been growing in importance over the past few years:  such companies like Microsoft, Intel and Cisco have all announced moves into the market or strategies for the next few years in the Internet of Things.

Concerning Parse, the company was bought by Facebook in 2013 and over 400,000 developers have created applications using the service of the company. Parse has been expanding on an international level: the number of active applications on Parse in Asia grew by almost 90 percent in the first half of 2014.

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