Facebook’s New Parse Tools Aim For Pro Internet Of Things Developers

Parse, Facebook’s mobile backend platform, has been going through a transformation of sorts—not least of which is a leadership change, with Parse’s founder and CEO now wading in the unemployment line. But the work must go on, and so the group rolled out new software development kits (SDKs) that take its Internet of Things (IoT) initiative from hobbyist circles to the ranks of professional vendors.

The new kits, which expand on the IoT SDKs it unveiled at Facebook’s F8 developer conference last March, now support platforms from several major chip manufacturers. These include Atmel, Broadcom, Intel, and Texas Instruments, all of whom have been pursuing their own connected IoT initiatives.

See also: Facebook Is Plotting Its Way Into Your Smart Home

Developers can build apps for the various hardware platforms—Atmel’s SAM D21 + WINC1500, TI’s CC3200, Intel’s Edison or Broadcom’s WICED—and connect them to Parse’s cloud quickly. According to a company representative, the connections could even happen in minutes, “with just a few lines of code.”

IoT For Everyone (Especially Partner Companies)


Clearly, Parse aims to drive real-world connected products from the burgeoning ranks of IoT companies. But that doesn’t mean the company wants to leave anyone out. According to its blog, different types of developers could use the SDKs for a number of reasons—whether to hack together a garage project or “a production-ready connected product, manufactured at scale.”

The representative highlighted a few examples of works built over the last few months with Parse SDKs:

• A farm-to-table growing system that lets farmers remotely control their equipment with an app (Freight Farms)

• A wireless smart home speaker that syncs music, lighting and more (Musaic)

• A smart BBQ smoker that can sense when meat is perfectly done (Trignis)

It’s not clear how many of the 800 million active app-device combinations (produced from its open-source SDKs) came from the hands of amateur tinkerers. But whatever the number is, the company likely wants to see more polished offerings from full-fledged business partners.

So Long, Sukhar


Ilya Sukhar at Facebook’s F8 developer conference

So it appears the company is pushing forward without its founder.

See also: The App Plumber: Parse’s Ilya Sukhar

Mere days ago, Ilya Sukhar tweeted the news of his departure, though he offered no reason for the change nor any mention of what he would do next. 

Sukhar, who does retain his role as a part-time partner at Y Combinator, later referred to his new status as “unemployed.” 

Ilya Sukhar photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; all others courtesy of Parse/Facebook

Update: An earlier version of this story wondered if Sukhar’s sudden departure, which arrived with no known plans or next steps, was his idea. Sukhar, who had been working in Facebook’s Messenger division since May, reached out to ReadWrite to refute any notion that he was fired. 

He told ReadWrite via email: 

I resigned very amicably. You can ask Mark 🙂 

I’m not working on anything yet. I’m just taking a break after many years of grinding it out on startups. But I intend to do something cool!

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