7 James Bond Gadgets That Could Work in Real Life

Saturday, 25 July 2015 - 3:08PM
Saturday, 25 July 2015 - 3:08PM
7 James Bond Gadgets That Could Work in Real Life
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This week, the new trailer was released for the next James Bond movie (watch it below), Spectre, and not surprisingly it looks outstanding. We even get a glimpse of one of Bond's fancier new toys in the trailer: A flame-throwing Aston Martin that can go from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds (one, please!). And with this being the 24th(!) film in the series, Daniel Craig's sweet ride is just the latest in a long line of gadgets from Q Branch. Although some have been, dare we say, stupid (looking at you, invisible car from Die Another Day), others are actually feasible. Here are seven crazy James Bond gadgets that could actually work in real life.


Jet Pack in Thunderball (1965)

Not only do we have jet packs today, fifty years after one appeared in the movie, but they're still based on the same model. The pack Bond uses in the film is a Bell Rocket Belt, and was initially built in the early 1960s for the U.S. military. The pack works by using compressed nitrogen to force liquid hydrogen peroxide into a gas generator lined with samarium nitrate-covered silver plates, which cause the hydrogen peroxide to be broken down into a mixture of superheated steam and oxygen. The steam and oxygen is then forced through the jet nozzles of the pack at supersonic speed, creating the thrust necessary to get Bond off the ground.


Rocket-Shooting Cigarette in You Only Live Twice (1967)

While there's no record of a rocket-firing cigarette ever used, there was bullet-firing lipstick. The KGB had a weapon during the Cold War that looked like a tube of lipstick but in actuality was a single shot 4.5 mm firearm. Its nickname? The Kiss of Death. Sounds like we've found the title for Bond's next adventure.

Rebreather in Thunderball (1965)


Wouldn't it be cool to be able to breathe underwater without a heavy oxygen tank? Believe it or not, the technology exists to make it possible. Israeli inventor Alan Izhar-Bodner has come up with a device that draws in water when submerged into a centrifuge, which then extracts oxygen from the water. One outlet expels the used liquid from the container, while a separate outlet brings the dry oxygen to the user to breathe. The air is then breathed in, and then back out into the surrounding water. It's still experimental, so don't cancel your scuba lessons just yet, but the invention does provide some hope for the future.


Water Sphere - Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Want to walk on water like James Bond? You totally can! Inflatable water balls have become almost common, and are constructed of waterproof and resilient TPU. However, they are still considered dangerous due to concerns over drowning and suffocation, since there's typically no way to get out from the inside. But hey, you only live twice, right?


Lotus Esprit Submarine - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)


The car converting to a submarine remains one of Bond's most iconic gadgets, but it was fake. There was a real submarine built for the film to look like a Lotus Espirit, but it was not capable of traveling on land. Don't lose hope though because it seems like a submarine car is in our future. And not just any submarine car, but the same Lotus Espirit from the movie. That's because Telsa and Space X founder Elon Musk, aka the closest thing we have to a real life Q, bought the original submarine in 2013 for a cool $1 million and plans on converting into a working car/submarine hybrid; powered by Tesla's electric drivetrain, of course. Musk hasn't disclosed how he'll make it work, but the guy made electric cars cool. He can do anything.


X-Ray Glasses - Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Every little boy dreamed of buying a pair of X-Ray specs out of the back of a comic book and using them for, uh, research, and some day soon kids might be able to get their hands on some X-Ray specs that actually work. There already exists a type of X-Ray glasses for doctors that are used to allow them to see veins or fluid leakage under a patient's skin. The glasses work by pulsing four different types of light and fusing them into a composite image, making whatever's under the skin stand out.


Biometric Signature Gun - Skyfall (2012)


The Daniel Craig Bond movies have been decidedly less gadget heavy than their predecessors, but Bond did get a pretty nifty gun in Skyfall. It would only fire in Bond's own hand, that way if someone else took the gun (which of course they did) it wouldn't work. And these so-called "smart guns" are being developed in the real world as well. They work by using biometric sensors in the gun's handle that analyze the size, strength, and structure of the user's hand to form a profile, and then only unlock to fire in the future if the biometric signature matches the recorded user. In other words, it works almost exactly like Bond's gun.

After all that, we think it's time to enjoy that new Bond trailer!