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Facebook extends Parse tools to the Internet of Things

Facebook extends Parse tools to the Internet of Things

New SDKs should make it easier for 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 its Parse developer tools to the Internet of Things, providing software and services for bringing connectivity to home appliances, fitness trackers and other objects.

The move will help Facebook strengthen its ties to a wider group of developers in a growing industry, via three software development kits aimed specifically at IoT. They were unveiled Wednesday at the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco.

The tools should make it easier for outside developers to build connected devices. Garage door manufacturer Chamberlain, for example, has used Parse for an app that lets people open and lock their garage door from their smartphone.

A maker of smart gardening tools could use Parse to build an app that reminds people to water their plants, said Ilya Sukhar, CEO of Parse, during a keynote talk at F8.

One of the SDKs is for Aduino Yun, a microcontroller board with built-in Wi-Fi for building IoT devices. Parse provides the code to collect data from that device and feed it into a smartphone app.

Facebook bought Parse in 2013, putting it in the business of selling app development tools.

It includes software and hosted infrastructure services that help developers build apps quickly. Facebook bought the company to help people build apps for Facebook, of course, but it's now extending that to IoT as well.

Over 400,000 developers have built apps with Parse so far, Sukhar said.

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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