Motorola's Skip dongles make lockscreens a thing of the past

Moto ksip
The Skip devices will soon come in various colors.

No one likes having to enter their PIN constantly to check messages on their phone, but the alternative is leaving it unlocked and vulnerable to hackers and thieves. Motorola has a solution that may keep your data safe and your screen un-smudged.

It's called the Skip, and it's a pretty simple device: just a little clip-on Near-Field Communications (NFC) dongle the size of a thumbdrive that you pair with your phone, and when the two touch, your phone unlocks. That's it!

The idea is that if you're there, holding your phone or sitting at your desk, there's not much point in a password. But unless someone were to steal both your phone and the dongle you have on you, it would remain locked for them.

There's a catch, of course: the device only works with the Moto X right now, since the brand-new phone from Google and Motorola is full of all kinds of new software tricks like this — from voice searching to launching apps with gestures.

Every Moto X made with the company's "Moto Maker" customization tool on the Web will include a Skip for free, as well as three "Skip dots," stickers that work the same way but live in one place, like your bedside table or office. The dongles are only available in Grey and black right now, but just like with the Moto X, more colors are on their way.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is