We’ve searched the web (and James Bond’s movie back catalog) to bring you 10 of the greatest gadgets that have materialized in our real world. Anyone remember the story about the alleged undercover agent and the poisoned umbrella….
It just had to come in first, if only because we all dreamed of having one when we were kids. After appearing first in Thunderball
the Pentagon (who else?) commissioned Bell Labs to turn this flight of fancy into something they could use. The boffins came back
with a device that could propel its owner up to 9 metres in the air at a gentle pace of around 10 mph. For up to 30 seconds. It’s quite possible that the Department of Defense weren’t sure if this would make their soldiers more or less of a target, and the unit was never mass-produced. On the plus side, the high pressure nitrogen gas it uses won’t burn off your trousers, and the fact remains that our schoolboy fantasies are now a reality.
Q Branch would definitely have appreciated the “Blaster”. A hidden flamethrower fitted to several hundred high-end vehicles (and possibly a few Aston Martins) and pioneered by South African inventor Charl Fourie. Despite his assurances that it “would definitely blind” any would-be assailant or car-jacker that it didn’t kill, the product never really took off in the real world, although we’re sure that James would have found a use for it.
3. Fake Fingerprints
Slightly more sedate than the previous two, but no less useful for those of us with a mischievous disposition. There has been a huge amount of research in this field, for obvious reasons. Scientists from all over the world are competing to create the most convincing fingerprint covers. The better experimental models being churned out by Japanese and American teams have an almost perfect success rate against even the best scanners. Just in case you were getting worried (or thinking of investing in a set), don’t bother, apparently “odor detection units” currently being rolled out can smell the difference.
Used in Thunderball and again in Die Another Day. The real life version is about the same size as the one used by 007, and, strangely, is much more useful than the models he uses. The Neptune EBD1 (pictured) is developed by Homeland Security Group International, Inc. and allows for up to 1 hour of breathing time, roughly ten times better than the ones shown in the films.
5. Shark Gun
Problem : A 2000 kg Great White Shark is speeding towards you. Solution: Use on of the many commercially available “Shark Darts” to pierce its hide and inject it with CO2 from a cheeky little compressed gas cartridge. Apparently some twisted genius realised that the shark will be forced up towards the surface before it gets a chance to attack. In practice, the shark will probably have its guts flung out of its mouth before it gets there. Quite a neat little “refinement” as Q might say. Bond forces one of the pellets down Kananga’s throat, putting an end to his “inflated opinion of himself” in Live and Let Die.
6. X-Ray Glasses
Another schoolboy favourite. Although admittedly this one hasn’t been perfected to the same extent as seen in The World Is Not Enough. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an ultrasound scanning unit that looks like “a small windowpane attached to a ray gun” that does the job. And lets not forget the new “Backscatter X-ray Scanner” developed at the US Transportation Security Administration’s research lab. Although you might prefer to forget the publicity image it revealed of the Director, Susan Hallowell (most certainly NOT pictured)
7. Q’s Pet
Not used for any operational purposes in A View To a Kill, instead used by Q for some peeping-tom action after the, ahem, climax of the film when Bond saves water by showering with Stacey Sutton. Rovers similar to the one seen in the film have dozens of high-tech applications, not least in bomb disposal and search and rescue, God bless ‘em.
8 Homing Device
One of the few objects that has managed to truly make the leap from fantasy to reality. Seen as cutting edge technology when originally showcased in Goldfinger, since then the miniature homing device has hit the streets in a massive way in the developed and developing world. The most common variant being found in your own mobile phone, modern tracking gadgets have become so common that 007 had to be surgically implanted with a tiny GPS transmitter in Casino Royale just to stay ahead just to stay ahead of the curve.
So good that Batman had to steal it. First seen in Thunderball and possibly only rivalled by the Shark Gun in terms of the amount of adrenaline you would get through if you ever actually used it. Once the inventor of the “Surface-To-Air-Recovery-System” (STARS) felt it was ready to be tested on a living creature, he strapped a pig into the harness and released the helium balloon. The attached towline was quickly snagged by a modified US Navy aircraft. Unharmed but disoriented at first, once safely aboard the pig proceeded to attack the crew. Apparently its more fun if you spread out your arms and legs because you don’t spin around so much in the air, an option that wasn’t available to the pig.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to keep this one out. After decades of on-screen near-misses, and potentially earth-shattering misuse of the awesome power of the military and industrial strength laser in the hands of various evil-doers, we are proud to announce that lasers that are actually powerful enough to be dangerous are here. Sort of. Nowadays anybody who can afford it can buy a handheld laser online that will burst a balloon or potentially blind someone….and didn’t George Bush want to put a massive Moonraker laser on Airforce One or something?
Article courtesy of hairygoon.com