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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4. Heapsylon


What they do: Turn clothes into computers.

Headquarters: Redmond, Wash.

CEO: Davide Vigano. He joined Microsoft as an intern in 1987 to work on the first versions of MacWorks and MacOffice. Before leaving the company, he was GM for the Healthvault and Amalga healthcare product lines (now part of a joint venture between Microsoft and GE).

Founded: 2013

Funding: The company is backed by $1 million in angel funding, as well as $115,000 it raised in an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Why they're on this list: Wearables are certainly a booming subsector of the IoT market. However, if you spend a couple hours researching the space or walking around the wearables section at CES this winter, you'll find that most of the products seem to be hunting for problems to solve, rather than the reverse case.

Conversely, Heapsylon's pinpoints an existing problem for which there is, presumably, pent-up demand for a solution: preventing injuries for runners.

Heapsylon's Sensoria socks are infused with textile pressure sensors and paired with proprietary electronics. Not only do the sensors accurately track steps, speed, calories, altitude gain, environmental temperature and distance, but they go well beyond that to track cadence, foot landing technique, center of balance and weight distribution on the foot as you walk and run.

For runners, this could be a big deal.

There are 25 million runners in America alone, up to 85 percent of whom will suffer some type of injury this year. According to Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, when running, landing on your heel is no different than somebody hitting you on the heel with a sledgehammer (300-400 pounds of force about 1,000 times each mile). That may seem like an exaggeration, but repetitive low-impact forces build up over time, a problem the NFL and NHL are both coming to grips with now.

Heapsylon intends to help runners identify injury-prone running styles, such as heavy heel striking, so they can avoid injury.

Heapsylon also offers a Sensoria T-Shirt and Sport Bra, each of which comes with built-in textile electrodes that allow you to simply snap your favorite heart rate monitor (Polar or Garmin) and get rid of uncomfortable plastic straps.

All Heapsylon garments leverage the Sensoria mobile app to coach the runner in real-time via audio cues. The Sensoria dashboard can also help achieve goals, improve performance and reduce risk of gravitating back to bad tendencies.

Customers: All of Heapsylon's IndieGoGo backers and the company recently inked a nonexclusive worldwide distribution agreement with British shoe manufacturer VIVOBAREFOOT.

Competitive Landscape: Wearable technology is blowing up. Heapsylon's main competitors include Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, Intel (in process developing a smart shirt), Omsignal and a wide range of other startups entering the wearables market.

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