Facebook sets IoT strategy

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is diving into the Internet of Things via Parse, a mobile infrastructure company it bought in 2013.

The IoT market is projected to grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 to $7.1 trillion in 2020, according to research company IDC.

Parse for IoT SDK is a development kit that allows makers of devices to build apps easily, Forbes reported. The initiative was announced during Facebook's F8 developer conference last week.

Facebook made other moves into the IoT in the past, CNET reported, but this is its biggest initiative yet. Parse will play a larger role at Facebook, integrating a growing range of devices connected to the internet.

"I'm going to build a device to let me know when I need to water my plants at home," Ilya Sukhar, Parse founder and CEO, said during the event. "I'm a nerd, so I'm going to build a device to remind me."

One of Parse's first users is Roost, a company that makes a lithium battery with a Wi-Fi radio inside. It will alert a user's smartphone if an alarm goes off or the battery needs charging, Pymnts.com reported. Roost will use the cloud, security, analytics and data tracking systems of Parse, although it will not connect to Facebook's data stream initially.

"A couple of years from now, all of the devices connected to us and each other are going to be just one seamless flow of information," Roost CEO Roel Peeters told Forbes. "Facebook is making a major play in positioning themselves as a central cloud backend for IoT." The social network "is embracing a new category of devices that will be coming online over the next 10 years."

Among many other big players in the space is Google, which bought Nest Labs, maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors, last year. Amazon has its Echo device for home connections and recently bought 2lemetry, which is more involved in business applications. Apple offers a HomeKit certification, which is a protocol for connecting smart home devices to iOS. Samsung wants to connect everything it makes by 2020 and purchased SmartThings, a company that provides sensors for the home along with a hub to connect them to other devices. Samsung is also moving beyond household applications with its new Samsung Business operation.

"At Parse, our passion is making developer experiences easier on any platform–including platforms that extend beyond mobile. Of these platforms, one of the most exciting new spaces is the Internet of Things," wrote Parse founder James Yu in a blog post. 

"We believe that connecting more hardware devices with the cloud has the potential to change the world for the better. We are already seeing devices that add tremendous value to people's lives, from wearables that help you sleep better to insulin trackers that aid people living with diabetes."

For more:
-See this CNET article
-See this IDC press release
-See this Forbes article and
-See this Forbes article
-See this Pymnts.com article
-See this Motley Fool article

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