IMG_4297 As I posted last month, we have welcomed Caitlin to our family! Having your 3rd child is as exciting as having the first two and I like my family have fallen in love all over again!  However I do have to admit there is a lot of been there done that.  The 3am dinner bell, the poopy diapers, the general noises, smiles, and coos that Caitlin gives me is new and old and the same time.

So if it is "been there done that", why this post?  Well there was brand new thing when Caitlin hugs_tagwas born and it involved an interesting aspect of IT I want to tell you about.  As you can imagine my joy and happiness at Caitlin's birth, I was even more surprised when she was just a few minutes old, the hospital placed a mechanical device on her leg (called a hugs tag the picture to the right is an example) they also placed a bracelet (called a Kisses tag)on my wife that was matched to the unit on Caitlin's leg.  Yes that is very cute, my wife and daughter were now inseparable hugs and kisses.

This is one system made by VeriChip called the Hugs System.  This system is what VeriChip calls a “Wearable” RFID tag.  These tags are worn individuals (usually on the wrist or leg).  the system is designed to help prevent infant abductions and accidental mother/baby switching.

hugs_floorplanBeing the curious IT guy that I am I started asking questions like how does it work, how can you be sure....etc.  The tags are a part of system of receivers that are tied to control PC's.  The receivers are mounted throughout the hospital, and they have special receivers called exciters usually placed at the exits to prevent the child being taken. (Diagram to the left) 

The hugs and kisses tags are also tied together so when the nursery nurse brought Caitlin to the room before she was handed to Deb they could verify they had the correct mom and child.  What happened is when Caitlin was close to Deb you heard a quick 5 note lullaby.  Very Cute. 

So how does the whole process work?  It starts with Caitlin needing food, then she cries, then the nurse decides to bring her to Deb to feed.  The nurse goes to a controller PC and signs Caitlin out and walks quickly to Deb's room.  Yes there is a time limit and if the nurse does not make it the room in time, then Elevators and doors in the wing shut down.  According to the people I spoke to this happens occasionally due to the distance from the nursery to the maternity wing.  When the nurse arrives, signs the kid in at the maternity pc and then they bring her into the room and wait for the lullaby notes and Caitlin is passed to Deb.

As the nurse was explaining to the system to me, I had thoughts of testing the system, getting my camera from home and seeing what really happens.  I believed it, but I thought it would be a fun adventure and I wanted to try it.  At about that same time Deb gave that
"mom glare", she new what I was thinking, must have been the smirk on my face.  I started to pout and tell Deb about the fun adventure and bonding time Caitlin and I would have.  Still a no, so then I thought what if I cut the tag off and run.  That is when I got the un-approving glare from the nurse, apparently there are even bigger things that happen when that happens.

So for all of you expecting parents, do not need be surprised when your newly arrived addition gets hugs and kisses right away.

To learn more about this technology take a look here: