Facebook’s Parce Minces Things, Not Words

Two short years ago when Facebook was in a buying frenzy acquiring any new software service with a pulse, it purchased Parse for the paltry sum of $85 million. This was an historic move as this mobile app development platform has now officially entered the Facebook into a race for the goose that lays the golden eggs, namely the Internet of Things (IoT).

FB takes a seat at big boys’ table . . .

On March 25, Facebook launched a version of Parce that opens the doors for developers to build connected devices that will interface (just as it previously did for mobile app developers). In so doing, FB now joins the ranks of such major online and tech luminaries as Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung, as the enterprises to watch in the consumer IoT space.

Software Development Kits - come & get ‘em . . .

Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar announced that Facebook would offer a ‘software development kit’ for the Parse platform to developers, so they kickstart the necessary work to start connecting things.

A software development kit (SDK or "devkit") is typically a set of software development tools that allows the creation of applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system, or similar development platform.

FB made mobile app-building easier by removing the complexity of figuring out how to architect complicated tasks like getting push notifications to work at scale or learning how to handle logging devices onto a cloud back-end. By creating a platform, Parse made building a mobile app more accessible and helped drive the creation of a more robust app ecosystem for mobile devices.

Parse is the BasS (backend as a service) solution, a turnkey service that adds those push notifications in addition to user authentication, social media integration, location data, and data analytics into any app. Developers subscribe to these services, which can help them reach a wider audience and gain valuable insights on user behavior.

First Interconnected Device

An official new line of SDKs for connected devices will be announced by Parse in the weeks and months ahead, as IoT market scales from $1.9 trillion in 201 to $7.1 trillion by 2020.

However, the first is an Arduino SDK for the  Arduino Yún, a microcontroller board with built-in WiFi capabilities. The SDK interface is in Wiring, and, in the spirit of Arduino, it was designed it to be as simple as possible. For example, all it takes is a few lines of code to save temperature data from a smart thermostat:

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.

Soon to Come . . .

Facebook already has nabbed customers such as Chamberlain, which manufactures connected garage door openers called the MyQ, and Roost, a startup that makes a novel WiFi battery that turns existing smoke detectors into connected smoke detectors.

For Roost CEO Roel Peeters, using the Parse platform was a no-brainer when he looked at the cost, “I did the calculations and I think I ended up paying my first penny to Facebook only after I reached 10 million devices.”

Hitchhiking on a Competing Cloud . . .

According to a Fortune report and as already noted, for Facebook, this is the beginning of competing with other cloud providers for a major role in the burgeoning Internet-of-things, Ironically for starters, it has yet to move the Parse platform over to its own infrastructure. Instead, most of the Parse platform is still hosted on the Amazon cloud, where Parse originally built its platform.

So Facebook is competing to provide a cloud backend for the IoT —while ironically hitchhiking a sweet ride on someone else’s cloud. While Zuckerberg might have his head in the clouds, he certainly has his feet firmly planted on the ground to take advantage of whatever's going to get him closer to that goose that's ready to lay a good amount of golden eggs! Anyone want to bet on his chances?