The Hugs tag features an RFID sensor that alerts hospital authorities if the wearer approaches an exit.


The Stanley Works announced July 18 it has completed the purchase of Ottawa-based Xmark Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of VeriChip Corp. for $48 million in cash.

July 29, 2008  By  Jennifer Brown

The deal consists of a $45 million agreed purchase price plus a balance sheet adjustment of approximately $3 million (a portion of which reflects the net cash position of Xmark as of the closing). Xmark, whose headquarters and principal operations are located in Ottawa, develops, markets and sells RFID-based systems used to identify, locate and protect people and assets. Xmark’s infant protection system, Hugs, was installed last year at the new Brampton Civic Hospital in Brampton, Ont.

The system ensures full supervision of all components, including the tag, with each tag sending a “Heartbeat” status message every 10 seconds. If the system doesn’t receive these messages for a specified time period, an alarm is automatically generated. If someone attempts to cut the tag, an alarm is sounded and the system will show where the nearest receiver is located.

Stanley has been active in the long-term care portion of the health-care market. The acquisition of Bed-Check in June of 2007 coupled with the recent acquisition of Xmark adds to the company’s interest in the health-care field.

The purchase of Xmark expands the existing Stanley Senior Technologies business, said Todd Tyler, director, engineering and product management with the company.

“Not only will we expand our existing long term care customer base with the addition of the RoamAlert product, we will gain significant scale in hospitals with the infant protections systems of Hugs and Halo.”

Tyler said that Xmark will report operationally through the Senior Technologies business unit and the lease on the office building in Ottawa will be renewed. When asked if there would be any elimination of staff at the Xmark office in Ottawa, Tyler said, “With any acquisition there will need to be rationalization of resources.”

There are several business units of Stanley Security Solutions that have RFID solutions, ranging from human and physical asset tracking to cash tracking to security access control. Stanley Senior Technologies has been an RFID based company since its inception in 1985.

Stanley has also recently completed the purchase of Sonitrol Corp. from an ownership group comprised of Carlyle Venture Partners, Wachovia

Capital Partners and Spire Capital Partners as well as selected members of Sonitrol management for US$276 million cash. Sonitrol, headquartered in Berwyn, Penn., provides security monitoring services, access control and fire detection systems to commercial customers in North America via two monitoring centres and a national multi-channel distribution network.




People think of hospitals as safe and secure places, where life’s most important events happen.

The Hugs® and Kisses® infant protection systems have played an important part in ensuring safety of hospitals’ youngest patients since it was introduced in 1998.1 Today, the Hugs and Kisses systems, which is a part of STANLEY Healthcare, protect 2 million babies annually at more than 1,600 hospitals worldwide.2

The Hugs system was first implemented in the Kienzle Family Maternity Center at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York.3 Each newborn is fitted with a tamper-detecting band that tracks movements of a child within secured areas of the hospital. When a child passes outside of a designated zone without prior authorization, an alarm sounds.4

The Kisses system, which was introduced in 2002, complements the Hugs system.5Kisses bands are worn by new mothers and are linked to babies’ bands; an audio signal confirms whether babies and moms are properly matched.6

The RFID technology found in the Hugs and Kisses systems was acquired in 1990 by a company called Instantel — now part of the STANLEY Security family — that specializes in industrial seismographs used by construction and mining companies.7Instantel experimented with the radio technology and launched several products that used RFID tags.8 In fact, some hospitals used these products with babies and elderly patients before Hugs was introduced.9

In 2005, Instantel was acquired by Verichip Corp.10 Stanley purchased the division, then called Xmark Corp., for $45 million in 2008.11 Since then, Stanley has continued to improve upon the Hugs and Kisses systems, and it also markets WanderGuard, a similar system designed especially for elderly patients.12

The Hugs and Kisses system is just one of the innovative solutions offered by STANLEY Healthcare. STANLEY Healthcare also offers protection solutions for young children, adolescents and other patients;13 real-time solutions for environmental monitoring, asset management and workflow optimization; and safety and security solutions for senior living.


Stanley buys Ottawa-based Xmark