Mar 29

As I travel the country speaking to real estate agents the one complaint I hear over and over is “Max when are we going to be able to use our iPhones to access our MLS lock-boxes?” My answer has normally been that the iPhone does not have IR (Infrared) capabilities so if your MLS uses lockboxes that depend on IR to communicate you will have to stick with one of the older IR capable phones (such as Palm Treo etc) or be forced to cary another separate device (a dongle) that will allow you to access the lockbox.  Now all of that may be  changing as several companies have developed IR devices to be used with the iPhone.  They did not however do this in response to the real estate industry and their lockbox woes, but rather as a response to a much bigger market demand, that of the home consumer and their desire to use their iPhone or iPod Touch to control all of their home entertainment equipment (TV, Stereo, DVD etc).  That being said now that the hardware issue has been resolved it would appear that it will only take a progressive lockbox manufacturer that wants to satisfy the needs of it’s customers to simply write an app for the iPhone that uses one of these IR hardware devices to communicate with their lockboxes.  I am sure we will see the same devices soon appear for the Android phones that are flooding the market.  So here’s my public appeal to the lockbox manufacturers on behalf of thousands of your customers that now use the  iPhone (and now Android phones) PLEASE DEVELOP AN APPLICATION!

Here are a few of the manufacturers of these IR devices for the iPhone (and many for the iPod Touch as well), I am sure they will be looking at similar devices for the Android phones shortly.

RedEye Mini for iPhone

i-Got-Control IRB1 dongle Potato's FLPR IR dongle

POWER A Universal Remote Case with IR installed

POWER A Universal Remote Case with IR installed

POWER A Universal Remote Case without IR installed (still works as a case)


written by Max \\ tags: , , , ,

19 Responses to “New IR Devices for iPhone, should make connecting your iPhone to MLS lockboxes possible….”

  1. 1. Charlie Stimac Says:

    I am new to IPhone. I love all the things I can do with it. I don’t know how I lived Without it. I asked my MLS about using it with the Ibox. I was told that GE would not allow it.

  2. 2. Shawn schwartz Says:

    I would love to get rid of the lock box key that I hv to charge every 3 days for 3 hrs!!

  3. 3. Shawn schwartz Says:

    I would love this device! Hate having to recharge it and carry it! I want the new device!!

  4. 4. Karen Arlick Says:

    We’ve been waiting for this! I just got my Iphone. It’s simply the best phone out there. Now if we can get the connectivity with the lockboxes, that would be superb!

  5. 5. Evonne Says:

    I am sure someone can come up with an App for it, we have app’s for everything else! It would be very helpful!

  6. 6. Laura Gabrielse Says:

    I see that it wasn’t the real estate industry that answered the call for this, and understandably so, as they are woefully behind the time in technology! In our market the i-key device is pitiful and the lockboxes are too. It is ridiculous how ancient everything is and no progress is made at all….we JUST got online billing statements from our regional office! Where does all our dues money go except to pay a bunch of salaries for for people who do who knows what? Very frustrating…I think they need to get in a younger, mor technical staff that can launch them into this technological age.

  7. 7. Gordon Miller Says:

    Supra has a blog on Active Rain which is actively moderated by them. According to the blog they are addressing the iPhone and Bluetooth with anticipated release date of this year.

  8. 8. Kenny Says:

    Where can you puchase a IR devices, can you recommend a good website.

    Thanks Kenny

  9. 9. Max Says:


    Click on a photo of one of the devices above for more info the Power A case is available now in the Apple store (linked to from photo)

  10. 10. Delores Herren Says:

    We use Sentrilock devices in our area. Can we unlock our boxes using our iPhones or iTouch products? Can the boxes be retrofitted if it is not currently possible? Thanks.

  11. 11. Greg Russell Says:


    I am the Real Estate Marketing Manager at Supra. We have looked at all of these 3rd party IR devices and none of them will work for our application. We too were hopeful that we could find a device that would work out of the box, but unfortunately that has not been the case. To communicate with a lock box, the device must be able to both receive and transmit data. These TV remotes only transmit; they are not designed to receive information back from the box. Also, the infrared used in a TV remote application is very simple. We use a more complex infrared protocol, which these devices will not support.

    The good news is that we are well on our way to having our own IR hardware built, and will have eKEY for iPhone ready this summer.



  12. 12. Max Says:

    Thanks for the added information regarding your lockboxes and the need for two-way communication. I would have thought one of these numerous devices would have created the ability to receive as some of the newer hi-tech gear does have two-way communication via IR. Thanks anyway for your post and for working to get the iPhone working on your boxes I know agents will be glad to hear that.

  13. 13. Kenpachi Says:

    We have the same problem here with GE not wanting to offer that service for iphone users. POOOOOOOO @ GE. Allow technology advancements to unlish their full potential, stop holding back..

  14. 14. CarverRon Says:

    I doubt Ge will allow it since there is face of charging the box not known to many agents. When you charge and get updated, you also feed the EKB boxes you opened to GE and to the listing who hold that box.
    Must pda and blackberry can open boxes, but you have to sign up with SUPRA/GE at about 17 bucks per month vs $3 per box.

  15. 15. Recarga de Cartuchos Says:

    nice to read this more bro
    New IR Devices for iPhone, should make connecting your iPhone to MLS lockboxes possible…. |

  16. 16. Dallas Mccomber Says:

    We love ActiveRain. We forward many clients to them for their social networking.

  17. 17. joe j in ohio Says:

    the palm phone with IR, contacts, date book, mls access, lock box opener, wireless updates is the best, however it is out dated, waiting for the I-phone to do all of this, in this age of technology I am sure it will happen

    joe j in ohio

  18. 18. Jeff link Says:

    The iPhone app is here. Now the question is will Supra allow it to work. They like to sell dongles and charge extra after all.

    Max put the pressure on Supra to fix this.

  19. 19. Gordon Miller Says:

    It’s here…..

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