For some casual smartphone users, entering a PIN to unlock their phone may seem like no big deal, as it happens relatively infrequently. According to Motorola, though, power users may find themselves entering their PIN several hundred times each day, which adds up to a lot of time wasted on a cumbersome process.
This is why Motorola has introduced a small clip that could potentially save smartphone owners time. The Motorola Skip, the manufacturer says, is the size of a person’s thumb, and it can be attached anywhere the user feels is convenient — in a belt loop or across the strap of a purse, for instance.
How Skip Works
Smartphone users who own a Moto X can use the Skip simply by tapping their phones to the device. The wireless connection between the two units will cause the Moto X to unlock, and the user will be free to operate it as he or she pleases.
This is not the only way Skip works, however. Motorola also says that three “dots” are included with each Skip. The dots are stickers capable of communicating with the Moto X in a similar way. Dots can be stuck to a desk, a dresser, or anywhere a sticker will stick. Motorola gives the example of a user placing his Moto X on his nightstand and then saying, “OK, Google Now, set alarm for 7 a.m.”
Downfalls of the Device
While Dan Goodin recognizes the benefits of the Motorola Skip in his article on Ars Technica, he also points out some relevant concerns he has about the “wearable fob.” Goodin says convenience can often come with a cost, and the most glaring cost of the Skip is its ability to be lost. The Skip is small, he says, which lends it to being misplaced by accident or stolen. Thieves could potentially take the Skip along with the phone, and that would give them instant access to a user’s data.
Similarly, he notes that law enforcement could just as easily confiscate a Skip as well as a phone in an investigation. Officers would then have instant access. Goodin also points out that professionals should beware of sticking dots to their desks, lest they leave their phones in plain view while on a restroom break
The Broad View
Overall, Goodin says the downfalls are not a reason to skip buying the Skip. Users will simply need to be more vigilant with where they place their Skip, where they stick their dots, and where they rest their phones.
Users must actively deal with the trade-offs made in the battle between security and convenience. The Skip is part of a new wave of “superpower-like” authentication methods, Motorola says, with much more to come in the near future. For the time being, Moto X users will need to be on their toes. Due attention could mean better care of devices, but a lack thereof could result in a host of security scares.
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