Gadgets: LG G4c, bitcoin wallet and vacuum bin

11 May 2015

The week in gadgets

This week in gadgets, LG announce the smaller G4c, the super-secure Case bitcoin wallet and a bin that also acts as its own vacuum cleaner.

LG G4c

Following the launch of LG’s latest flagship phone, the LG G4 last month, the South Korean company has already announced a smaller, cheaper follow-on to the phone in the form of the LG G4c.

In effect, it will be a lower-spec model of the G4, with GSM Arena confirming it will come with a still-large 5in screen, but lower resolution of 720p.

In terms of processing power, the phone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, quad-core 1.2GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM with just 8GB of internal storage, expandable with a micro SD card.

The operating system will see LG’s own UX 4.0 come into play, having been based off Android’s 5.0 Lollipop, while the camera comes in at 8MP with a 5MP selfie camera.

Starting with Germany, the phone will be released in Europe next month, with a starting price from €279.

Case bitcoin wallet

While bitcoin continues to experience a number of major challenges to its existence, one company is attempting to lock your bitcoin funds securely from incidents such as the one that affected Mt Gox with their new product, Case.

The start-up, whose name is also Case, has created their device, which is a small, credit-card-shaped device that is more than just a keypad, but also includes a camera, GSM chip and a fingerprint scanner.

According to Tech Crunch, every time a person wants to make a bitcoin transaction, you have to scan the QR code created with the camera and then use the fingerprint scanner to confirm the transfer.

While the hardware is rigorous enough, the software also promises to be robust, with the start-up’s co-founder and CEO Melanie Shapiro saying that it generates a one-time device-generated private key.

Shipping this summer, it will set back bitcoin enthusiasts US$199.

Case bitcoin wallet

Case bitcoin wallet

New Apple TV remote

Ahead of the launch of the latest version of the Apple TV later this year, it has also been revealed that Apple also plans on giving the old Apple TV remote control a major update, something it hasn’t done in seven years.

Speaking to The New York Times, the sources close to Apple said the new remote will feature things including a touch pad and will be slightly bulkier than its older, more minimalist older brother.

It will however keep its traditional two-button control system.

Apple are expected to reveal all the details of its new Apple TV box when its World Wide Developer Conference rolls around in June.

The older Apple TV remote will soon have a shiny new replacement with touch pad. Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

New Apple TV remote

New Apple TV remote

iPhone now a parasitic blood detector

It seems that the iPhone is the latest darling of the scientific community given that not only are Apple teaming up with researchers to use its iPhones as DNA testers, but it is now being used a means of screening blood for parasitic worms.

A team of researchers from the University of California Berkeley are now using the iPhone 6 with a newly developed platform that uses its video camera to automatically detect the parasites, calling it CellScope.

The team has already conducted a pilot study in Cameroon, where health officials have been battling the parasitic worm diseases onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis.

According to UC Berkeley, the tests show that it’s just as capable of finding the worms as traditional analysis equipment.

Bruno, the vacuum cleaner bin

Why had no one thought of this sooner? A Kickstarter project has managed to already receive the US$50,000 in funding it had been looking for to create a bin that’s not only a perfect example of the internet of things (IoT) but also has an in-built vacuum cleaner.

Based at the bottom of the Bruno is an inlet that allows the user to sweep whatever is on the floor over to Bruno and then watch it get sucked up.

Aside from just sucking things up, the bin is also connected to the home Wi-Fi and the owner’s phone alerting them when their bin is full or when it is running out of bin bags.

When they begin shipping in October this year, the Bruno will cost US$229, so a little more than your average peddle bin, but could be worth it not having to use a pan-and-brush like a chump.

Gif of Bruno bin in action

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic