The Most Useful James Bond Gadgets For Normal People

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James Bond Movielinx

This is a collection of James Bond gadgets that I think would best translate into real-world use. Granted, most of James Bond’s gadgets are usually some sort of covert explosive or fancy way to kill somebody, but there are a select few that are not lethal. These are gadgets that, if technologically possible, would help make our lives easier. If only we had a Q in real life…

Rebreather

Gadget: Miniature Rebreather
As Seen In: Thunderball, and Die Another Day
Is It Possible? No

The idea behind the rebreather is that it allows its user to breathe underwater for hours without the need of an oxygen tank or canister. It’s easy to see how important and useful an invention this could be. The problem is that the technology to convert H20 to O2 is not exactly small and portable. Scuba divers often use spare air canisters for emergencies, but these are often still fairly large and can’t last as long. The rebreather is easy to use, convenient, and easy to store.

Fingerprint

Gadget: Fake Fingerprint
As Seen In: Diamonds Are Forever
Is It Possible? Yes

We’ve seen fake fingerprints show up as a technology in other spy films, but James Bond did it first. Fake fingerprints will only likely be used for nefarious purposes, so for most of us they won’t be all that useful. Even then, sometimes a wad of silly putty is enough to do the trick. Still, it’s a cool idea, and something that could easily be executed today. For spies and anyone who needs to sneak around without leaving a trace, they could be valuable. 

Sunglasses

Gadget: Reverse-Polarizing Sunglasses
As Seen In: A View to a Kill
Is It Possible? No.

We have Polarizing Sunglasses already. They help to reduce glare by restricting certain directions of light waves. Bond’s Reverse-Polarizing Sunglasses are used to reduce the polarized effect on other surfaces. This includes being able to see through tinted glass and one-sided mirrors. Certainly normal people would appreciate this technology, but think about how useful it could be for law enforcement personnel and rescuers. Unfortunately, this idea is purely pie-in-the-sky unless you use infrared light to penetrate the glass and some sort of viewer to see the result. 

timothy dalton binocular glasses

Gadget: Micro-Binocular Glasses
As Seen In: The Living Daylights
Is It Possible? Yes

We already have mini-binoculars, but imagine having that power in a device that is no larger than a normal pair of glasses, yet much more powerful? The usefulness is apparent. Rescuers, security personnel, hunters, and general outdoor enthusiasts would love to have a compact and convenient way to identify far-off objects. That Bond’s micro-binoculars free up the hands is also very beneficial. The technology used to reduce the size of high-power lenses for cell phone cameras could work well here in this application. 

bond gadgets belt

Gadget: Grappling Belt
As Seen In: Goldeneye (also, earlier version seen in Diamonds Are Forever)
Is It Possible? Yes

James Bond often finds himself in situations where he needs to scale tall buildings or jump across large openings. The various grappling equipment he uses helps him to stay safe in these situations. There’s no reason you shouldn’t also have access to this type of mobility. Diamonds Are Forever introduced the grappling suspenders, which seem a little crude but nonetheless possible these days. A more practical and stylish option is the suspender belt featured in Goldeneye. Miniature grappling hooks are currently in use, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to launch and secure the line, while also ensuring the user doesn’t slip out of the belt while in use. 

bond phone

Gadget: Remote Car Control Cell Phone
As Seen In: Tomorrow Never Dies
Is It Possible? Yes

Google may be working on a self-driving car, so a remote-control car doesn’t seem that far out of the question. Our cell phones have become very advanced, so of all the gadgets on this list, this one feels the most plausible. Although it may not be a great idea to give people the ability to control their cars via an app on their cell phone, there are applications where this could be useful. Police, for example, could use this technology to remotely move their vehicles into position in dangerous situations. It could also be used as a sort of automated chauffeur, parking or retrieving a car while the driver waits for it at the front door.  

Quantum Ear Piece

Gadget: Quantum Earpiece
As Seen In: Quantum of Solace
Is it Possible? Yes

The Quantum Earpiece is pretty much a miniature bluetooth headset, without needing to connect to a cell phone. The entire device fits into the user’s ear and allows them to have conversations with other users while appearing to just be talking to themselves. Of course, there are still technological limitations to make this possible, but headsets that use vibrations in the facial bones to transmit sound without a microphone have already hit the market. It’s just a matter of miniaturizing the transmitter and power source to fit in a tiny earbud.

Live and Let Die Rolex Buzzsaw

Gadget: Magnetic/Buzzsaw Watch
As Seen In: Live and Let Die
Is it Possible? Yes

Ok, so a combo watch/buzzsaw/magnet is not necessarily the most useful item on this list, but there are times when it might come in handy. Don’t have any scissors on hand? No problem, fire up the ol’ wrist saw and cut through that rope or cardboard. Lost a needle in the middle of a haystack? Use the magnet to pull it out. Perhaps they could make the buzzsaw interchangeable with other parts. Maybe a grinder/abrasive wheel? Buffing pad? Fan? It’s definitely a possible gadget, but probably only good for specific uses or occupations. It’s also one of the very few gadgets to actually fail in the movie. Maybe Q should have worked harder on this one.

Skyfall Gun

Gadget: Walter PPK/S – Palm Reader Gun
As Seen In: Skyfall
Is It Possible? Maybe. 

With gun control being an understandably hot issue these days, many people are trying to come up with ideas to help make them safer. James Bond has a solution, a gun that will only work if it is being held by the registered user. It’s an interesting idea, since all control devices are part of the gun, rather than requiring a separate key or device to use. Fingerprint identification is a widely-available technology, but it is not secure enough and too-easily fooled to be useful here. The technology to read the uniqueness of a person’s palms is still some distance away, if possible at all.

Ring Camera

Gadget: Ring Camera
As Seen In: A View to a Kill
Is It Possible? Maybe.

How cool would this be? No need to pull out the smart phone or one of those clunky tablets in order to take a picture, simply hold out your hand and snap away. Cell phone cameras are getting pretty advanced and small these days, so the actual hardware could easily fit on a ring. The problem would be the power supply and the method of retrieving the photos. A ring simply doesn’t offer much space to add components. Still, with the current rate of technology advancement for smart phones, it seems like it could be possible one day. 


 Want more James Bond? Check out these previous articles:

Top Ten James Bond Villains

Is James Bond Just a Code Name Handed Down to Different Agents?

Ranked: Every James Bond Title Sequence

James Bond on Location: A Map For Every Bond Film