Speaking to a Moto X smartphone and having it obey your spoken command is great. Unless, like many people, you keep your phone locked by a PIN, gesture pattern, Face Unlock or some other security method. In that case, the Moto X will prompt you to unlock your device before continuing with your voice command; something that defeats the purpose of “touchless” controls.
That’s why Motorola introduced Motorola Skip on Friday. The small, wearable NFC device can unlock your phone or help create a trusted zone area where your handset won’t be locked.
Motorola says the average smartphone user unlocks their handset 39 times day and it takes an average of 2.3 seconds each time to unlock the phone. With Skip, that time will be cut down. To unlock the phone, users simply tap the handset to the Skip. If the Skip is lost, it can be easily unpaired from the Moto X and replaced with a new Skip.
The device will also come with 3 Skip Dots; NFC stickers that can be place where you most use your phone. Think of your work desk, nightstand and car. When you place your Moto X on a Skip Dot, the phone stays unlocked, allowing it to perform voice commands without this interruption:
For a limited time, Motorola will include Skip with the AT&T Moto X phones that are customized online: You can see the ordering process here in this video. Motorola will also be selling the Skip accessory when the Moto X launches on AT&T next week: Customers can begin to buy the handset on August 22.
Considering that Touchless Control is one of the key features of the phone, the small accessory is well worth it; depending on the price, that is. Motorola hasn’t officially announced the cost of Skip, although PocketNow reports the price for the Skip and three Skip Dots will be $20 if purchased separately.
Motorola says this is just the first “step on the path” of intelligent authentication methods. The Moto X can already be used to create a trusted zone in a car, simply by pairing the device over Bluetooth.
After reviewing the Moto X, I’m sold on buying the phone and have no doubt I’ll be adding the Skip accessory either as a free add-on or a later purchase: It simply makes sense to get the most out of the phone while maintaining security.