Tip of the Week – Active key or eKey?
As we get into the lease renewal period for the Supra Active key, we see again that many keyholders don’t know the difference between an Active key and an eKey. Does it really make a difference what you call the key you have? What’s the big deal? In terms of support, there’s a huge difference. In cost, not so much.
We want to provide the best, most efficient level of support we can. One way we can do that is to NOT give you the wrong instructions on how to do something with your key. Especially if you’re asking questions about cost or payment processes.
Here’s the breakdown of the two key types.
The Active key is the white key with an infra-red sensor and a small antennae. It is billed on an annual basis paid in advanced. The updates on this key are done automatically every 10 minutes using a built-in radio connecting the nearest cell phone tower. This key needs to be kept charged! If the battery in the key runs down completely, you need to call the KIM Voice number, ECAR, or Supra to get an update code. The first manual update will get the key back into the automatic update cycle. Keep it charged!!
The eKey is the service that works on most current smartphones: iPhone, Android, Blackberry. There’s also a short list of Windows smartphones that the service will work with. Click here for the latest list right from Supra. Any phone that does not have built-in infra-red ability will need an accessory called an adapter or fob.
The eKey service is billed monthly, through an automatic payment from a debit/credit card. This service usually requires an adapter or fob to give the phone infra-red ability. ECAR sells the devices when the eKey service is set up. Supra has an adapter for the iPhone that plugs into the power port on the phone. The fob, using batteries for power, is a similar device that works with the Android or Blackberry phones and connects to the phone by Bluetooth.
The total yearly cost for both key types is the same. Even between insurance for the Active key and the purchase price of the adapter/fob, the two keys balance out.
So then it just comes down to personal choice. If you have one of the applicable smartphones and have been thinking about it, or are thinking about it now, call us.
To make sure we have the right accessory on hand AND that we have someone available to help you, please call us to make an appointment. If you stop in while you’re in the area and want to ask questions or set up an appointment, we’ll be happy to help you. But if you want the upgrade right then without an appointment, we may have to say no. Sorry.
Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS
Fort Walton Beach, FL