Top 7 James Bond 007 Techno Gadgets, some are real today

The new James Bond movie releases next week and I can’t wait. The best part of watching a 007 flick is seeing all the new gadgets that Q has cooked up for Bond to use. Over the years their have been some really great ones going all the way back to the Sean Connery era in the 1960’s. Even though the new bond movies don’t include the same amount of cool 007 gadgetry, I thought it would be fun to do a blog on 7 of my personal favorites from the Bond series anyway. When these gadgets were showcased at the movies they were bleeding edge and futuristic. To that end, I thought it would be cool to see if these gadgets have become commonplace today or are still years away.

Die Another Day (2002) Die Another Day was full of Bond gadgets. My personal favorite was the compact underwater rebreather.

Available Today: No Estimated Time to Market: 2050 or greater Promising research in this gadget area: Neptune EBD1 Breathing device that is 13inces long/4.5inches wide. Good for up to 50 minutes of air.

External Lung Research According to MIT News, “Hundreds of insect species spend much of their time underwater, where food may be more plentiful. MIT mathematicians have now figured out exactly how those insects breathe underwater. A team at Nottingham Trent University showed that a porous cavity surrounded by water-repellent material is supplied with oxygen by the thin air layer on its surface.”

Golden Eye (1995) This electronic door code breaker was used by 006 in the movie. It fits onto a keypad electronic door, cracks the combo, and displays the results on the screen.

Available Today: No Estimated Time to Market: Unknown This is not to say that keypad locks can’t be hacked, they can. But not with a device like Bond used.

Golden Eye (1995) This one is great! It is a leg cast that holds a rocket launcher in it. The rocket fires out of the bottom of the foot.

Available Today: Yes, if you want to build one the parts are available. Examples in this gadget area: Spike Missile World’s Smallest missile at 5.3lbs and 25in long/2.5in wide.

GoldFinger (1964) Going back to one of the original James Bond movies with Sean Connery. Gold Finger is the one that really started the 007 gadget craze. The audiences loved it so much that producers have added in gadgets ever since. This gadget is actually two gadgets, a large and a small homing device. This was cutting edge tech in 1964, we take it for granted today with GPS devices.

Available Today: Yes of course Examples in this gadget area: There are so many I can’t list ‘em. But every iPhone that has loopt installed like mine counts.  Also every cruise missile, rental car, UPS truck, etc. etc. etc….

The Spy who Loved Me (1977) This Seiko watch printed out urgent messages from MI6 on a ticker tape. The one shown tells bond to report immediately to headquarters. This was before we had the technology to display characters on a watch like screen. That’s why I like this one, a novel approach to solving the problem of communicating with your secret agents in the field.

Available Today: NO Estimated Time to Market: 2010 Research in this gadget area: The world’s smallest wireless mobile printer is the ONeil MicroFlash 2t. It measures 2”. The technology exists today to duplicate Bonds ticker watch, but why do it, so no one has. Except the CIA of course, they have to get messages to their double O’s too you know.

For Your Eyes Only (1981) 1981 doesn’t seem like that long ago, but when you look at the Bond gadgets it sure seems like a different era. This is a facial recognition scanner used by Q and 007 to find the bad guy. I love the old school graphics. They called it a 3D identigraph. It works like this, you input descriptions of facial characteristics, it searches a worldwide database, and if it finds a match it prints out the suspects' picture.

Available Today: Yes Examples in this gadget area: Just go to any of your local police departments and they’ll have one. Also, real-time facial recognition coupled with video surveillance is commonplace today. An amazing new facial-recognition algorithm released this year by researchers at UC Berkeley and University of Illinois is now able to recognize faces with 90-95 percent accuracy, even if the eyes, nose and mouth are obscured. Before this breakthrough the accuracy was 65% using high-res full face photos with slight occlusions. Here comes big brother in a big way. Advertisers can now use cameras to look you up and post advertisements just for you as you walk by, what fun!

The World is Not Enough (1999) We all wish we had a pair of these suckers. X-Ray Glasses that perform just like superman’s eyes. They are able to see through clothes, walls, and other obstructions. Bond uses them in the movie to see the guns the casino women are packing.

Available Today: No Estimated Time to Market: 2100 and beyond Research in this gadget area: Backscatter X-Ray machines, proposed for use in airport screening machines, works kind of like Bonds sunglasses did in the movie. The issue is the machines are huge, hundreds of pounds. Put one of these on your face and you’d be fertilizer. The backscatter is a low-energy x-ray that reflects off the skin to give a "chalk outline" of the person's body. Here is an image of a women in a backscatter machine:

How’s that for 7 of the best 007 gadgets of all time? Let me know if I missed your favorites or got the research wrong on its availability. James Bond “Quantum of Solace” opens November 14th, see you at the movies!

The opinions and information presented here are my personal views and not those of my employer. James Bond images © Danjaq LLC and United Artists Corporation. Images sourced from james bond multimedia 2000-2008, E&OE

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