With 20 billion internet of things devices online by 2020, the challenges and rewards are great for the top 10 startups hoping to capitalize on connected devices.

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to make machines smarter, industrial processes more efficient and consumer devices more responsive to our needs. According to research firm Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion connected things in use worldwide by 2020. But these constrained devices often run on woefully out-of-date software that must be manually patched and upgraded; the market potential is enormous, but so are the risks. Figuring out successful IoT business models is still a work in progress, and many are trying. We’ve looked at a large sampling of companies that have formed to work on these problems and pared the list down to 10 that warrant special attention.

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