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The James Bond Gadgets That Now Exist in Real Life

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 8 June 2021 | 0 Comments

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8 June 2021

In 2022 we can shop for many of the fictional spy’s truly iconic high-tech, quirky gadgetry for sale in stores, or online!  

In the first Bond novel, 'Casino Royale', which was published in 1952, Ian Fleming's character wasn’t associated with gizmos - just women. He didn’t get high-tech until he hit the screens a decade later and Bond and his bizarre gadgets were born.They wonce seemed far-fetched, yet six decades later many of 007’s most outlandish gizmos now exist in real life. From the underwater cars that featured in The Spy Who Loved Me to the full-thrust jet packs like the one in 1965's Thunderball and the eponymous villain Dr No’s bionic hands -much has changed in the world of global gadgets in the 60 years that have passed since the first film premiered on October 5 1962. 

But what are the highlights? 

Well Bond’s X-Ray Specs - engineered to established whether his enemies were secretly armed - allowed him to scrutinisevillains under their suit jackets in The World is Not Enough in 1999. About 14 years later, Evena Medical and Epson developed a pair of glasses that could achieve a similar result and enabled medics to look through patients' skin to more easily locate veins for intravenous (IV) treatments. Other versions of 'X-Ray specs' have since been launched and include a pair of goggles that can help drivers park better! 

Another 007 technological triumph was the Underwater Car in the 1977 flickThe Spy Who Loved Me, which starred Roger Moore as the Lotus Esprit Turbo driving James Bond. In a memorable scene, Moore steers the car off a dock and into the sea to escape the villain - a heart-in-the-mouth moment. But, just when you think the hero has met a watery end, the vehicle's wheels retract and fins pop out! BINGO! The Esprit becomes a submarine that can slice through deep water! 

Jet packs made their debut in Thunderball in 1965, when James Bond used a Bell Textron Rocket Belt to escape after killing French antagonist Jacques Bouvar. Jet packs became iconic 007 equipment in those early films and were based on pioneering technology that existed already. Engineers had developed the Bell Textron Rocket Belt for the US Army using hydrogen peroxide as fuel to power the wearer up to 10 metres into the air. Jet packs have never been deemed safe for the ordinary consumer or efficient enough for mainstream use, but the technology continues to advance - so watch this space! 

In 2006's Casino Royale, M, head of MI6 and Bond’s matriarchal leader played by Judi Dench, has Bond injected with a microchip that measures his vital signs and tracks his location. While an identical Implanted Microchipsfor humans isn’t part of mainstream development, GPS tracking is now commonplace through our smartphones and various apps. Satellite connectivity allow emergency messages when there is no phone service whilst a whole slew of different wearable technologies are able to measure biometrics, like heart rate and blood oxygen levels, such as the FitBit and Apple Watch. Text messages are also an improvement on the Seiko Quartz watch that printed physical messages from MI6 in The Spy Who Loved Me - that once seemed cutting edge tech! Medical implants do exist for many serious conditions and brain chips have been touted to hit the mainstream - such as ElonMusk'sNeuralink chip - though this is so far only being tested on monkeys.