10 Hot Internet of Things Startups

As Internet connectivity gets embedded into every aspect of our lives, investors, entrepreneurs and engineers are rushing to cash in. Here are 10 hot startups that are poised to shape the future of the Internet of Things (IoT).

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2. Chui


What they do: Combine facial recognition with advanced computer vision and machine learning techniques to turn faces into "universal keys." Chui refers to its solution as "the world's most intelligent doorbell."

Headquarters: Boulder, Colo.

CEO: Shaun Moore. Prior to this role, he co-founded Housou Mobile with Nezare Chafni (who also co-founded Chui). Housou developed a solution that helped content publishers convert Web content to mobile.

Founded: 2013

Funding: A crowdfunding campaign has garnered more than $72,000.

Why they're on this list: Home and business security systems are expensive, generate tons of false alarms and really can't be called "intelligent."

Chui's facial recognition technology replaces keys, passwords or codes, allowing you to disarm a security system with facial recognition. Chui emphasizes that our faces are unique, universal and nontransferable. Your features cannot be hacked, nor can they be spied on.

For businesses, or even homes with service people stopping by regularly, Chui also keeps track of who is coming and going, documenting visitors and time-stamping their visits.

Even better, the system also learns as it goes. If a person's facial appearance changes over time, the system will learn this. It is also able to distinguish between identical twins, and it is able to recognize attempts to fool the system with pictures or videos.

The first application of this system is an "intelligent doorbell."

You can use it to open your door to invited guests, such as a cleaning service or dog walker, right from your smartphone. You no longer need to hand out keys to service providers. Chui ensures you have complete control over who is entering your home through real-time notifications and the ability to engage in live conversations with visitors.

Customers: In less than four months, Chui says that it has acquired 311 customers. A company spokesperson notes that they have more than doubled their crowdfunding goal ($300,000), selling the devices at $199 per unit.

Competitive Landscape: Chui's three major competitors are Goji, Skybell (formerly idoorcam) and Doorbot. However, none of the other smart doorbells utilize facial recognition, offering only video connections.

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