NFC, on the whole, has yet to really take the world by storm. In some nations, it has become a fairly popular tool for mobile payments, but in North America, it's rarely used for anything more serious than pairing with a Bluetooth speaker. That said, Motorola's newest smartphone, the Moto X
, has a new NFC
-based accessory that honestly feels like one of the most impressive uses yet of the technology.
Motorola Skip is a new, hardware-based method for unlocking your Android
phone. Moto found that the average power user unlocks their phone screen around 100 times per day, and at 2.3 seconds each time the phone is unlocked, it adds up to a lot of time spent entering 4-digit PINs or patterns. Because it’s cumbersome and slow, many people never bother with authentication at all, or they use fast but easily-guessed PINs like “0000.”
Skip is a thin, thumb-sized clip that pairs with your Moto X and unlocks it with a simple tap. Essentially, it provides all the benefits of a PIN without the hassle. There are three Skip dots included with each Skip. Skip dots are stickers that, like Skip, provide authentication and also create “trusted zones” for Touchless Control. Try a Skip dot on your dashboard, your nightstand, or your desk at work. Just tap your Moto X to the Skip dot, and your phone is unlocked. Place your phone on the bedside Skip dot, “OK, Google Now, set alarm for 7 a.m.,” or place it on a Skip dot in the kitchen, “OK Google Now, what is cardamom?”
Only Skip and Skip dots that have been paired with your phone will unlock it, and you can easily unpair them if you lose or replace your Skip. If you don’t have your Skip or Skip dot handy, you can still unlock your phone with your PIN.
Once Moto X launches, Motorola Skip with three Skip dots will be available for purchase on Motorola.com. For a limited time, Motorola Skip will be included for free with all orders of Moto X through Moto Maker. To start, Skip will be available in gray with a black accent, but more colors will be added in the fall.
Is this kind of tool worth $20? Hard to say, but that's what it will cost you if you don't get in via Moto Maker