Facebook extends Parse to build IoT apps

New SDKs are designed to make it easier for outside developers to build apps that interface with Internet-connected devices

Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar, speaking during Facebook's F8 conference on March 25, 2015.

Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar, speaking during Facebook's F8 conference on March 25, 2015.

Facebook is extending Parse, its suite of back-end software development tools, to create Internet of Things apps for items like smart home appliances and activity trackers.

By opening Parse to IoT, Facebook hopes to strengthen its ties to a wider group of developers in a growing industry via three new software development kits aimed specifically at IoT, unveiled Wednesday at the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco.

The tools are aimed at making it easier for outside developers to build apps that interface with Internet-connected devices. Garage door manufacturer Chamberlain, for example, has already used Parse for its app to let people open and lock their garage door from their smartphones.

Or, hypothetically, the maker of a smart gardening device could use Parse to incorporate notifications into their app to remind the user to water their plants, said Ilya Sukhar, CEO of Parse, during a keynote talk at F8.

Facebook bought Parse in 2013, putting itself in the business of selling application development tools. Parse provides a hosted back-end infrastructure to help third party developers build their apps. Over 400,000 developers have built apps with Parse, Sukhar said on Wednesday.

Parse's new SDKs are available on GitHub as well as on Parse's site.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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