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Friday Fun for the IT Crowd: The 5 best James Bond gadgets

October 29, 2015
By Sarah O'Connor

Villainous plots to take over the world, espionage, fast cars, exotic locations, beautiful women, sophisticated gadgets, drinks shaken not stirred … and a special agent named Bond. The theme may be familiar, but the movies are more popular than ever, as 2012’s Skyfall became the highest-grossing 007 movie in franchise history. With the 24th James Bond film,Spectreabout to be released in the U.S. on Nov. 6, box office expectations are high—and speculation continues about star Daniel Craig’s plans to fulfill the rest of his contract and film one more movie. (Any guesses on who should take over the keys to the Aston Martin? I’m hoping the rumors are true that Idris Elba is a contender …)

While we wait to see what cool tech Q has up his sleeve for Bond in Spectre, let’s take a look back at past 007 movies and revisit some of Bond’s best and most innovative gadgets.

Fingerprint scanner

Diamonds are Forever (1971) - Before your iPhone used TouchID as an added security measure, fingerprint scanning technology appeared in this Bond movie as a way for Tiffany Case to confirm the identity of visitors to her apartment. (Did it work? Bond used a fake fingerprint to try to trick Tiffany.)


Live and Let Die (1973) – Bond’s watch, like his car, has been tricked-out over the years and will evolve over franchise history to include a laser (1983), television screen and homing device (1983), and remote detonator (1995). Here, an early version of his watch is equipped with a saw and bullet-deflecting magnets. 

Ring camera 

A View to a Kill (1985) – James Bond was ahead of his time with the ability to take photos with a miniature camera stored inside his ring; the camera’s shutter would click when he pressed his middle finger against his ring finger. Today, we use our smartphones to sneak photos of unaware targets.

Mobile phone 

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Although his car has a phone in earlier movies, Bond doesn’t carry a mobile phone until the late 1990s. His phones have featured remote access for his car, fingerprint scanners, stun gun capability, camera lenses, GPS and facial recognition ability.

X-ray glasses

The World is Not Enough (1999) – Even a glamorous, world-renowned secret agent needs some extra help from advanced technology. These innovative glasses allowed Bond to see if those around him were carrying concealed weapons, but it seemed as though he only tested their powers on women …

Want to make a case for gadgets I didn’t cover, like the sunglasses in A View to a Kill that could see through tinted glass? Or inventions that were just too implausible, like the man-eating couch of The Living Daylights? Leave a comment below.

You may also enjoy these past posts:

What did 80s movies teach us about tech?

What did 90s movies teach us about tech?

Friday Fun for the IT Crowd: Self-driving cars race ahead

As marketing communications manager, Sarah O’Connor develops and supports strategies to promote TEKsystems’ brand to job seekers, consultants and clients. She enjoys running and exploring new cities—preferably both at the same time. 

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