You have probably heard some things in the press about the "internet of things" or IoT to use the jargon.

This in the next frontier in the evolution of the internet: the idea that devices around us will become connected to the internet.

It's not uncommon to hear comments about the IoT which over-simplify things. People say things like, "Great! My fridge will know when I'm out of milk. Like I can't handle that!"

But it's so much more than that...

The IoT: it's real, now.

Already, many new cars contain the equivalent processing power of 20 PCs, and contain a kilometre of cable: if you have an accident, that car can inform the emergency services before you know it yourself.

In industry, machines on production lines relay their status to internet servers, sending statistical data and alert messages. This way, production staff have a complete picture of the health of their plant, engineers can undertake preventative maintenance, and problems can be dealt with quickly, thus saving money. Machines can even be controlled remotely.


This kind of "machine to machine" communication - "M2M" to use the buzzword - takes place through the use the GSM phone network, and sometimes short range radio and wifi. Data is collected from remote notes and routed to the internet to a server in the cloud.

The nodes may be small devices that connect to their host system, or for best miniaturisation may be embedded in the host system's circuit board.

It's not just monitoring of course: the data goes both ways. Most such devices will accept data from the cloud as well, so that a command can be sent to control the device and even the host system.

Introducing Assetwolf, by Tribal Systems

Tribal Systems has created a dedicated division that specialises in creating IoT customer portals. It's called Assetwolf.

The Assetwolf team work with M2M operators, such as Sierra Wireless, to create customer portals that interface with those remote devices.

Our CMS, Zenario, makes a great platform for such portals:

  • extranet user management is built in
  • it has tools for handling locations and displaying locations on Google maps
  • it has an administration system (Organizer) that is flexible and scalable, and that creates the environment for asset fleet managers to manage assets, data and users
  • the ability to handle customisations of functionality

You'll be hearing a lot more about the internet of things, but you can learn more right now over at our new site at