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Making James Bond Jealous
Goldfinger was the first film to really utilize technology in the James Bond films. Since then the gadgetry has become more elaborate, sometimes ridiculously so, but also an inherent aspect of the franchise. Most of the gadgets featured in the movies don’t exist in real life - and if they do the government certainly isn’t admitting to them! Emulating 007 isn’t as hard as you would expect however – here we’ve assembled a list of real life (though not necessarily real affordable) gadgets straight out of Q’s workshop.
LG GD910 Phone
Though officially classified as a phone, this little technological beauty is actually worn on your wrist, with a touch screen interface that lets you access its many features (only one of which is keeping time). Not only does the watch act as a fabulous accessory, but with built in Bluetooth, voice recognition and a camera, the only thing it doesn’t have is a laser-beam to enable you to escape from 006’s ICBM train. Video conferencing with M whilst hiding under a tenuously balanced piece of wood and being shot at by international terrorists has never been easier.
Invisibility Cloak
For obvious reasons we haven’t got a picture of the Invisibility Cloak, so you’ll have to settle for the Aston.

As a dedicated Bond fan, even I was somewhat bemused by the invisible car in Die Another Day. The writers seemed to have finally crossed the threshold of plausible suspension-of-disbelief.

I stand corrected.

German scientists scientists have successfully created a structure that bends light around an object, rendering it unseen by the naked eye. Interestingly, this is not dissimilar from Q’s own explanation of how he created the invisible Aston Martin Vanquish in Die Another Day. Thus far the invisibility cloak is limited to micro-scale objects from near-infrared wavelengths, but the researchers believe there is nothing in theory to prevent the research from applying to larger-scale objects – say perhaps a sporty British racing vehicle?

Electric Shock Briefcase
I think I might be a bit horrified that this is available on the open market for any lunatic crackpot to buy.

I must have one.

By day your average, quite boring looking leather briefcase; but with the added benefit of what the manufactures call “anti-loss-proof.” Aside from the grammatical perplexity of such a statement, their method of anti-loss-proofing an object is to charge it up with over 30kV of electricity. In addition to a handy storage device, when you order one of these you also get a remote that will activate either an 85db alarm or an electric shock, or both.

To the best of my knowledge even Bond never had anything much like this. He had a spiffy attaché case in From Russia with Love but there was no electricity coursing through it.

Spycam Glasses
I’m not sure how genuinely unobtrusive these would be, but they certainly get the job done. They shoot video, take stills and even play MP3’s so you can play your own personal theme song rather than just humming (don’t deny it) as you snap photos of unsuspecting enemies.
Roger Moore’s Shark Hunter
Submarine’s feature prominently in the plot of The Spy Who Loved Me – most famous is the Lotus Esprit that can travel on land and in sea (we’ll get to that in a moment) but also featured in a chase scene was the yellow Shark Hunter sub. Personal submarine technology has come a long way since 1977. This carbon-fiber Deep Flight Merlin can glide along the ocean surface like an airplane before diving up to 130 feet. The sub incorporates fighter jet technology, is hydrobatic (which means exactly what you think it does) and controlled with a joystick. Though let’s give credit where credit is due, Shark Hunter is an infinitely better name.
sQuba
Even though it’s technically just a concept car, I couldn’t resist adding the sQuba to the list. Though for a cool $750,000 Swiss company Rinspeed will build it for you. Oh, go on, what is your children’s college education compared to an aquatic car?

“Wet Nellie”, Roger Moore’s Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me, is arguably the best Bond car. Ever. That’s right; I said it – better than the DB5.

The designer of the sQuba was actually inspired by the Esprit in the film. It submerges to a depth of 10 meters, and rather than driving along the bottom of the sea, it propels forward with two jets. When all is said and done, as undeniably cool as the sQuba is, I think I’d still take the Esprit any day.

Jetpack
Left: Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball
Right: Martin Jetpack, available commercially in 2011/12 for an estimated $100,000

Bond has had some pretty spectacular vehicles in his career, and the jetpack in Thunderball was always one of the more outlandish. 45 years later however, a New Zealand based company is in the final stages of making the world’s first practical jetpack commercially available. It consists of a gasoline engine that drives twin ducted fans, which lift you in vertical takeoff. It is capable of reaching heights of about 1.5 miles and can travel up 62mph.

The Blaster
While 007 has used many flamethrowers in his career, I’m pretty sure there was never one installed in one of his cars. This is an oversight the South Africans have corrected, by inventing the succinctly named The Blaster. (Interesting factoid - owning flamethrowers is completely legal and unrestricted in South Africa. It’s almost enough reason to overlook the profound civil unrest and move there.) The Blaster is a liquefied petroleum gas flamethrower that is installed along the sides of the vehicle under the doors and ignited when the driver presses a foot pedal. I think the hazards of that particular set-up speak for themselves.
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