History of the KeyBox

Accessible keys

The first key lockbox was invented over 65 years ago by Delbert Williams, Supra’s founder.  Delbert, a real estate professional, was tired of chasing down keys in order to show homes to clients.  He crafted a keybox from a Yale® bicycle lock and a sand-cast aluminum container.  Although very primitive, this lockbox served its purpose well – eliminating the need for agents to search for listing keys in order to get into houses for sale.  By providing this instant one-key access, the first Supra keybox was born.   
As our society has changed since 1955, when Delbert founded Supra, the industry has demanded more-secure keyboxes that also provide accountability.  In 1990 the first electronic keybox was introduced – The Supra Advantage Express – with overwhelming success.   
With the introduction of the iBox in 2002, real estate agents could "beam" an infrared signal to the boxes.  Bluetooth® wireless technology was added to the line in 2010 with the Bluetooth iBox so that Bluetooth smartphones can communicate directly with the iBox BT with no other hardware needed. 

Supra keys and administrative systems

As lockboxes have evolved so have the keys that open them.  Original mechanical keys were quickly abandoned because, if lost, they could be found and used by unauthorized individuals.  The battery-powered EntryCard in 1990 communicated through audio tones over a phone line to send data to LENI, Supra’s first data administration system, for authorization.  While EntryCard evolved to SupraCard and SupraKEY, LENI gave way to KIM and now to SupraNET – the Internet-based portal to data administration.
“Use your cell phone as your key” became the watchwords for eKEY for Palm® in 2000.  eKEY continues to evolve with the telecommunications industry, now available as a smartphone application for iPhone® and Android™.
If only Delbert could see his invention today. 
Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of the Bluetooth SIG.  Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.  iPhone® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Palm® is a registered trademark of Palm, Inc.


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