Doug Bonderud

Mar 13th 2018

Practical James Bond Gadgets? 007 Potential Picks


What’s Bond without his gadgets? The most recent iteration of the franchise has Daniel Craig’s rough-and-tumble version of the super-spy getting along just fine with hunting knives and homemade explosive light bulbs — of course, it helps that he’s strong, fast and incredibly suave. But he’s not entirely lacking in classic James Bond gadgets. Let’s take a look at 007 that could make the leap from the silver screen to everyday life.

Microchip Implant

In Casino Royale, Bond is implanted with a microchip that tracks both his location and vital signs — helpful when he gets a near-fatal dose of poison from a doctored drink, letting M16 staff guide Bond to his car and find the portable poison kit and defibrillator. While implanted microchips are still undergoing trials, wearable devices such as smartwatches and even rings can already provide this information, if you’re willing to risk a bit of third-party data sharing now and then.

“Smart” Blood

In Spectre, resident gadget guru Q injects Bond with so-called “smart blood,” as noted by GeekWire, that’s a collection of nanoparticles designed to do much the same thing as the microchip but at an even smaller, non-removable level. Sounds like complete sci-fi, right? Not entirely. According to CNN, researchers are already working on nanoparticles which can track — and potentially eliminate — cancer and Ebola cells in the body.

Multitouch Table

First appearing in Quantum of Solace, the multitouch table lets M16 agents and spymaster M manipulate documents and images on a touch-screen table. They can be spun around, slid across and expanded with the touch of a finger, and scanning paper files is easy — just lay them on the table’s surface. We’re not quite seeing them widely in the mainstream yet, but major tech manufacturers like Samsung are developing touch-screen tables that replicate at least some of these functions.

Anti-Magnetic Watch

Bond loves his watches. While the brand has changed over the years, he’s rarely caught without a stylish timepiece. In the Daniel Craig era, all wrist candy has been provided by Omega. In Spectre, he uses the Seamaster Limited Edition, which is a real-life gadget that resists magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss and lets wearers dive deep without any worry about watch failure, Omega explained.

Palm-Sensing Pistol

He’s more of a hands-on guy, but Bond is also a crack shot with his pistol. In Casino Royale, filmmakers went back to the classic Walther PPK, but gave it an upgrade: A biometric palm-sensor that ensures the weapon will only shoot when Bond’s hand is on the grip, Digital Trends noted. Gun safety is important even in the world of cloak-and-dagger spy games, and among James Bond gadgets this one’s hardly far-fetched. Already, smartphones unlock at the press of a thumbprint, while facial and iris scanners are on the authentication horizon.

Side-Profile Identification Phone

In Quantum of Solace, Bond uses a modified Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-Shot to snap side-profile pictures of potential bad guys, which are then spun into straight-on shots and extrapolated to give clear images and provide quick IDs using M16 databanks. While augmented reality tech hasn’t quite reached this level, big players like Facebook are designing development platforms to overlay digital information on real-world features, add virtual objects to images and enhance real objects, Tech Crunch reported.

Exploding Watch

Bond’s watch got a mention earlier on, but it gets a second slot because of its utility in Spectre. When given the timepiece by Q, Bond asks if it has any special gadgets. The quartermaster says that it’s just for telling time — but warns his colleague that the alarm is “a little loud, if you know what I mean.” Since Omega watches don’t come with alarms, Bond correctly deduces its real function: creating a huge explosion, which saves his life later in the movie. Sure, this isn’t something you need every day, and small devices that currently possess explosive potential — like e-cigarettes — aren’t designed with this purpose in mind, but it’s not beyond imagining. The downside? That’s an expensive ticker to toss.

Some James Bond gadgets are ridiculous. Some are simply impractical. But most walk the thin line between “cool” and “ridiculous” and aren’t beyond the realm of possibility or even practical application. Northrop Grumman is working to bring similar technologies that were once thought to be only in the movies to real life situations. The Bond world may not be so far-fetched, after all.