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HONOURABLE CHEAT: Volcano lair (You only live twice)
Aside Dr No - 'no' for virtually no gadgets - 'You only live twice' is the only James Bond film without a single wearable. Now, that said, we also cover smart homes here at Wareable as part of the connected self and kitted out with full intercom speaker system, rocket launch facilities, retractable walkway over the top of a killer piranha fish tank and its own damn monorail system, surely Blofeld's Spectre volcano HQ is one of the finest examples of a 1960s smart home in cinematic history? We'll leave that one with you.
Eight different actors have played the character of James Bond over the ages, imbuing the spy with different moods, yet maintaining his essential character.
Each of these actors, from Sean Connery, who originated the role, to Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and now Daniel Craig, has stayed true to Bond's inherent mix of toughness and class.
"They were very careful to cast the right people at the right time," Desowitz said.
Sean Connery, in particular, set the mold for the Bonds to follow. He blended his rugged Scottish heritage with an essential element of elegance to portray the debonair intelligence agent.
"I don't believe it would have lasted if they had cast anyone besides Sean Connery," Desowitz said. "He was so unique. He was in the Cary Grant mold, only rougher and even more dangerous."
007 Gadgets and Cars
Bond occasionally relied on the odd pen to get him out of a scrape. In Goldeneye Q gave Bond an explosive silver Parker pen. It contained a four second fuse that was armed by simply clicking the top three times.
As with many Bond gadgets, the explosive pen was central to a key part in the plot. At the end of the film Bond baddie Alec picks up the pen and starts clicking it. Bond counts the number of clicks and with his usual perfect timing he manages to throw then pen into a pool of flammable liquid to cause a distraction giving him and Natalya enough time to escape.
A great example of how Bond gadgets become as important as the character’s
9. Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977)
The Lotus Esprit was an awesome Bond gadget. It may not have been the classic Aston Martin most often associated with 007, but it was my favourite Bond car. I even owned a matchbox toy of the Esprit that was my pride and joy.
In The Spy who Loved Me Bond was issued with a customised Lotus Esprit that could convert into a submarine when in the water, the perfect gadget to help Bond track down baddie Karl Stromberg in his underwater lair. On entering the water the Esprit’s wheels turned inwards to reveal four lateral fins and a periscope popped out of the roof. It even fired missiles to defend itself.
A great Bond gadget that certainly captured my imagination as a kid (from watching the repeats on TV I hasten to add!) and certainly didn’t harm sales of the Lotus Esprit back in the real world.
8. Ericsson Mobile Phone (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997)
Even the suave Mr Bond went ‘mobile’ in the 1990s. In 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, a full ten years before Apple launched the iPhone, Bond was issued with the first real smart-phone. His Ericsson mobile featured a scanner that could read fingerprints – ideal for identifying the bad guys by the fingerprints they leave behind. The phone could also be used to drive his BMW 750iL which proved handy in Bond’s multi-storey car park car chase.
Feature number three was a high tech skeleton key that enabled 007 pick locks when breaking into Carvers Hamburg HQ. And finally, as shown in the photo, the Ericsson phone could produce a 2,000 volt shock which Bond used to break into Gupter’s office and then to shock Dr Kaufman in the hotel.
This gadget was the product of some fantastic imagination back when mobile phones just about made phone calls and text messaging had yet to catch on.
7. Rolex Watch (Live and Let Die, 1973)
No round up of the best Bond gadgets would be complete without at least one watch. Bond may have dabbled with the odd Omega Seamaster in more recent movies, but when Ian Fleming penned the original Bond novels he wore the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner. Whilst the Omega’s featured impressive lasers that could cut through ice and metal, the Rolex Bond was given in Live and Let Die had the edge. The Q-Branch crackpots gave it two extra features.
Firstly the watch could turn into a powerful electro-magnet, strong enough to deflect the path of a bullet at long range. Bond tested this out by magnetizing M’s spoon, much to his annoyance. The Second feature proved to be a life saver. The bezel doubled up as a circular saw which enabled 007 to cut through the ropes that had him trapped and escape from a one-way journey into a pool of man-eating sharks.
An iconic gadget based on an iconic timepiece. The physics may be ridiculous but that’s why we love Bond movies!
6.BMW 750iL (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997)
Every boy’s dream – a full size remote control car! Q delivered Bond’s life size toy in Tomorrow Never Dies whilst dressed as a hire car employee.
The BMW was bullet proof, laden with sunroof fired mini-missiles, metal spike dispensers, grenades and a cutter hidden behind the BMW badge. That’s one expensive list of extras! Impressive and very ‘Bond’, but what really mattered was the fact that you could drive it around like a remote controlled car using a mobile phone. How cool…
If only I it could come true.
5. Deadly Briefcase (from russia with love)
One of the first, but most lethal, Bond gadgets we’ve included in our top ten was the ‘deadly briefcase’. A classic Bond weapon disguised as something a gentleman would carry whilst conducting his daily business.
On the outside it looked like a normal black leather briefcase, but inside it was packing an AR-7 snipers rifle, 40 rounds of ammunition, a throwing knife that that popped out of the side, a bottle of tear gas disguised as a bottle of talcum powder and 50 gold sovereigns in case 007 needed to get home from a foreign state after travelling with XL or during a ‘Credit Crunch’.
Whilst this gadget was arguably just a collection of weapons built into a briefcase, it did provide a blueprint for Bond gadgets that have now evolved into the super sophisticated weaponry every man and boy drools over at the cinema.
3. Crocodile Mini-Submarine (Octopussy, 1983)
One of the more amusing and least dignified modes of transport Bond had to endure was the Crocodile mini-submarine. The crocodile was powered by a propeller with Bond laying inside, occasionally poking his head out of the croc’s mouth.
It may not look entirely convincing, particularly when compared to today’s CGI packed movies, but with a little suspension of disbelief you can enjoy Bond’s sneaky passage to Octopussy’s secret women-only island, sneaking past the watchmen. It does sound like a little like the storyline for a Lynx advert though!
A memorable gadget the like of which we’re unlikely to see in the tougher, cooler ‘new-Bond’ movies.
2. Killer Bagpipes (The World is Not Enough, 1999)
How could we not include lethal bagpipes in this round up? No, it wasn’t the blood curdling sound that killed people – not in this example at least. These bagpipes where modified by Q and the gang to include a machine gun AND a set of flamethrowers. Young bagpipers across Scotland must have suddenly become the most feared boys in school.
Sadly, this gadget never left the laboratory.
1. Bowler Hat (Goldfinger, 1964)
This one’s a bit of a deviation because the killer Bowler Hat wasn’t Bond’s gadget, it was instead used with deadly effect by the memorable miniature henchman Oddjob.
Oddjob was Auric Goldfinger’s personal bodyguard, chauffeur and golf caddy. His unarmed combat skills, as with Jaws, were more than a match for 007 who had to resort to a more cunning method of ‘dispatch’.
The hat had a super sharp razor in the rim that could slice
through flesh and bone when thrown like a frisbee.
The deadly bowler hat may not be the most sophisticated of gadgets but it certainly is memorable.
Roger Moore Had the Greatest Gadgets in the History of Bond
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Next to Vesper martinis, James Bond is best-known for gadgets. Throughout the years, MI6 kept him outfitted in nothing but the best cars, wristwatches, and weapons. Today, Roger Moore, the actor who played Bond through seven films from 1973 to 1985, passed away at the age of 89. To honor his iconic turn as the character, here’s a look at all the best tools of his trade, from the Lotus he drove (and submerged) in The Spy Who Loved Me to the Apple Watch-precursor Seiko G757 timepiece he sported in Octopussy.
In this ever-changing world in which we live in, Moore’s Bond always sought out the very latest life-saving gizmos. This early-❰s hit provided him with one of his most memorable devices ever: a tricked-out wristwatch that serves as not only a rope-ripping portable buzzsaw---complete with spinning bezels---but also as a portable electromagnetic-field generator. The latter comes in especially handy (and kinda handsy) when Bond attempts to unzip a dress worn by Miss Caruzo (Madeline Smith). That’s a typically brazen Bond move---but then again, his heart was an open book. —Brian Raftery
Who needs cool gadgets when you can impersonate a villain by donning a fake nipple? In The Man with the Golden Gun, henchman Lazar (Marne Maitland) has a cigarette box full of golden bullets, and the Solex Agitator has the ability to solve the 1973 energy crisis using the sun, but the film's best gadget is Bond’s well-placed false nipple, which he uses to impersonate assassin Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) and get inside crime lord Hai-Fat’s (Richard Loo) estate. It was super cool but also super weird. And yeah, we’re glad Q grew out of his arts-and-crafts phase, too. —Charley Locke
James Bond loves his gadget-laden cars, and Roger Moore got to drive the coolest of them all: a white Lotus Esprit coupe that convincingly transformed into a submarine. It has the usual additional equipment---a torpedo launcher in the front grille and a cement sprayer at the rear to blind pursuers. But the fenders also extend into fins, the dashboard flips around to reveal marine instruments, and Moore drives the car off a dock into the ocean (“Can you swim?” he dryly asks Russian agent Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) in the passenger seat), where he had a whole new suite of weapons at his disposal. At the end of the underwater chase, Moore pilots the car from the sea onto a packed beach, rolls down the window, and throws out a fish. Fun fact: Elon Musk bought the car in 2013 for a cool $1 million. —Jack Stewart
Wrist Dart Gun
It takes a lot of space-balls to sneak onto a spaceship with a loaded weapon, but Bond disposes of villain Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) with this nifty, easy-to-conceal li'l killer. Activated by wrist-muscle nerve impulses, the deadly wearable comes equipped with 10 darts: five adorned with armor-piercing heads and five laced with cyanide---the latter causing death in 30 seconds, just enough time for Moore to charmingly dispense one of his trademark Bond bons mots. —Brian Raftery
In the days before facial recognition and constant surveillance, much more rudimentary systems identified bad guys. To use the Identigraph, Bond and Q have to tell the computer the features---hair color, spectacles style, etc.---they're looking for in order to get a 3-D composite of a villain’s face. Once Bond describes it, the Identigraph searches for their man in the databases of other spy agencies. Located at MI6 headquarters, the machine---inspired by the Identicast device Ian Fleming wrote about in Goldfinger---gives Bond exactly what he needs: a lead on how to find bespeckled Belgian enforcer Emile Leopold Locque (Michael Gothard). —Angela Watercutter
Seiko G757 Wristwatch
The “latest liquid crystal TV” for the wrist that Q invented in Octopussy was way ahead of its time---and decades ahead of the Apple Watch. Thanks to a homing device update, Bond’s fresh version of the Seiko G757 tracks location not for geolocating the nearest shaken-not-stirred happy hour or Tinder date but for tracking down the Fabergé egg. Q keeps a color prototype of the watch, with its rainbow circle and bright geometrics, in his Rajasthan lab. A few more years of tinkering and it could be ready for WWDC. —Charley Locke
To be honest, Kill was one of those Bond flicks in which the bad guys had the market cornered on cool devices: Zorin (Christopher Walken) owned a blimp that allowed him to send his foes into sky-fall mid-meeting, while Mayday (Grace Jones) wielded what looked like a killer fishing rod. But at least Bond can follow a paper trail with this Louis Vuitton check-reading device, which uses ultraviolet rays to pick up on left-behind signatures. Is it the most exciting gadget of the 007 oeuvre? It is not! But at least it gives him a view to a bill. —Brian Raftery
Spy movies and TV shows have been crowd favorites for a long time now. People love watching handsome men in suits fighting off the bad guys, flying helicopters, firing guns and most of all, using their cool gadgets. Since the 60s, there are many gadgets which have become popular after being used in a spy movie or show. Not only are they incredibly cool to look at, but they make you think why no one has ever bothered to design them for real.
You can get cable to watch the movies and TV shows. You can also head to the cinema to watch your favorite spies in action. While there are hundreds of such gadgets to choose from, here are the top ten coolest movie and TV spy gadgets in the history of technology.
The Copter Hat (Inspector Gadget)
Imagine having a hat which has its own rotors! Inspector Gadget isn’t among the smartest spies to hit the screen but his mode of commutation beats even 007. All he has to do is extend the copter from his hat and fly over the traffic. He doesn’t need to follow a speed limit or wait for the signal to go green!
Shoe Phone (Get Smart)
Get Smart remains one of the most popular TV shows of all time and nothing beats the technical wizardry of the shoe phone. Back when the series aired, perhaps no one would have imagined the bombardment of cellphones and smartphones. The Shoe Phone was as cutting-edge as things could get four or five decades ago.
Cigarette Dart Gun (You Only Live Twice)
Any list about spy gadgets is incomplete without Mr. James Bond. The super famous British spy has been gracing the silver screen for 50 years now and each new return to the screen features a host of cool gadgets. In You Only Live Twice, Bond introduces you to the cigarette dart gun. Designed like the usual cigarette, it fires a rocket when lighted! Perhaps not useful in places where smoking is banned but super cool nonetheless.
Explosive Chewing Bomb (Mission: Impossible)
Moving on from cigarettes to chewing gum (you need to get rid of the cigarette smell on your breath), the 1996 release Mission: Impossible showed how deadly a stick of Wrigley’s could be. Just chew, throw and bam! Run for your life like Tom Cruise did.
X-Ray Glasses (The World Is Not Enough)
One of the more recent Bond outings, The World Is Not Enough introduces the X-Ray glasses. Wearing these, one can spot what a person is carrying under their clothes. Bond uses these to spot the weapons his enemies are carrying. You can use them for other less noble purposes! Since the 60s, there are some of the gadgets which have become popular after being used in a spy movie or show.
The Multi-Purpose Lighter (Our Man Flint)
Our Man Flint is not a spy movie per se, considered more to be a spoof. Yet, it does have one extremely cool gadget: the lighter with 83 options. The movie’s running time didn’t allow viewers to see every one of those options but they did see Flint cutting through steel and setting explosions with his lighter.
The Neuralizer (Men in Black)
The Men in Black have the enviable job of hunting down aliens and then making sure no one saw them. If anyone did see the aliens, the MIB use their neuralizer to erase their memory of that particular sighting. Imagine all the things you could make people forget about you! Not only are they incredibly cool to look at, but they make you think why no one has ever bothered to design them for real.
Contact Lens Video Camera (I Spy)
Wearing a contact lens which has a built-in video camera makes you the most innocuous spy ever. Disregarding the impracticality of it, I Spy did show how useful it would be to transmit the lives images of everything you see.
The Golden Gun (The Man with the Golden Gun)
The third Bond entry on this list, but the Golden Gun didn’t belong to Mr. 007. It was the villain who had created the Golden Gun, which carried bullets made from gold. In addition to being a gun, it also served as a cigarette lighter, cufflink and pen. The only drawback is its capacity to hold only one bullet!
Cell Phone Sonar (The Dark Knight)
The Dark Knight is not a spy movie but it does show you the ultimate spy gadget: cell phone sonar. You can use the signals emanating from the phones of every person in the city and see and hear what they are up to. You don’t even need to put cameras or microphones to use cell phone sonar to track people’s movements.
After successfully destroying the drug facility, Bond goes to take care of his final bit of business--a Serbian beauty named Bonita. As they're kissing, Bond sees a reflection in her eyes of a henchman about to strike him. He flips the girl around, using her as a shield and goes to fight the man. Bond throws him into a bath full of water, and the man reaches for Bond's gun. Just in the nick of time, Bond throws a nearby heat lamp into the bath, electrocuting the henchman to death.
What makes the scene so memorable, is Bond's remark to the girl as he leaves: "Shocking, positively shocking". Ok, a heat lamp isn't technically a gadget, but it's close enough, and the imagery is very impressive.
The Walkman, launched in 1979, became our go-to music device throughout the 1980s. A revolution in music and wearable technology, the Walkman was so popular it sold over 200 million units. &ldquoDon&rsquot you think a stereo cassette player that you can listen to while walking around is a good idea!&rdquo Sony Chairman, Akio Morita. In 1987, digital hearing aids were released, revolutionizing the healthcare industry.
&ldquoUsage of healthcare, wellness, and medical apps is up 16% from last year to 28% of consumers. Nearly two-thirds of physicians said they would prescribe an app to manage chronic diseases like diabetes.&rdquo
Published: 00:22 BST, 8 September 2020 | Updated: 10:43 BST, 9 September 2020
Whether it’s bagpipe flame-throwers, spear-wielding umbrellas or sports cars that turn into submarines, everyone has a favourite James Bond spy gadget, courtesy of the ever-resourceful ‘Q’ Branch.
While it has long been assumed that novelist Ian Fleming used an MI6 department as the inspiration for 007’s brilliantly bonkers gadgets — exploding shark capsule, anyone? — credit should actually go to MI9, or ‘Military Intelligence 9’, as revealed in a new book, MI9: A History Of The Secret Service For Escape And Evasion In World War Two, by Helen Fry.
A department so top secret that most people have never even heard of it, it relied heavily on the inventions of a prematurely balding maverick called Christopher Clayton Hutton.
‘Clutty’, as he was known, was a former soldier, airman and journalist, who had been obsessed with escapology and illusions since boyhood.
Christopher Clayton Hutton, the genius inventor behind gadgets that helped British and Allied troops escape during the war
He was once described as ‘mad and brilliant’, and would have given today’s Q a run for his money when it came to inventiveness.
Set up in 1939 and run by Major Norman Crockatt (later Brigadier) and Clutty and Charles Fraser-Smith, an equally brillant inventor and close friend of Ian Fleming, MI9 was responsible for helping airmen and prisoners find their way home from behind enemy lines.
To this end, it supported resistance networks and encouraged a philosophy of ‘escape-mindedness’, drumming into every soldier that it was their duty to try to escape.
A single airman took three months to train at a cost of £15,000, so the War Office needed them back.
In turn, the boffins at MI9 did everything they could to support them, designing and supplying countless gadgets including pencil cameras, daggers hidden in pens, wire saws hidden in shoe laces and playing cards containing maps of Europe.
Clutty, in particular, was relentless in his task. He hired a magician to help devise hidden compartments and built himself an underground bunker in the middle of a field — in the grounds of the MI9 headquarters in Wilton Park, Beaconsfield — so he could work undisturbed.
'Q' the ever-resourceful fictional character was portrayed by actor Desmond Llewelyn (pictured) and appeared in the James Bond film series from 1963 to 1999
10 James Bond Gadgets That Actually Exist—And One That Needs To
There have been 23 Bond movies made In the past 50 years—full of lethal, handy, futuristic, awesome, and sometimes funny gadgets. Most are still too fantastic to be real, but some have transcended the silver screen to become naturalized residents of the Real World. These are our favorites.
Homing beacon, Goldfinger (1964)
Tracking devices are a spy-world staple, now available to anyone, regardless of security clearance. In the photo are Digital Angel products made by Applied Digital Solutions they provide satellite location tracking for individuals.
Photo: David Friedman/Getty Images
Lasers, Goldfinger (1964)
Remember when Auric Goldfinger tried to cut James Bond in half (nuts-first) with a laser powerful enough to cut steel?. Well, that same technology is now available to anyone interested in amusing a cat. And, thanks to the Internet, even the convenience store model pictured can be turned into something a little more villainous.
Photo: Danjaq/Eon Productions//Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Remote-Controlled Doors, Thunderball (1965)
In 1965 this technology only about ten years old, so the audience was surely awed when Emilio Largo pushed a button on a handheld device and opened a secret door to the SPECTRE briefing room. Today such doors are found in most suburban homes, concealing secret stashes of old VHS tapes, empty bottles ("gonna take those in this weekend, seriously"), and broken bicycles.
Photo: Danjaq/Eon Productions//Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images
Gyroplane, You Only Live Twice (1967)
This is a Wallis WA-116 Series 1 gyroplane (codename Little Nellie). In the movie it has rockets, machine guns, flamethrowers, and missiles. Though only released in very limited quantities to private citizens, these little birds were real! Sans weapons, natch.
Fingerprint Scanner, Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Tiffany Case and her unique biometric scanner were fooled by Bond's fake fingerprint. These days the technology is so smart and widespread that there might be a small fingerprint scanner in your notebook computer-and it's probably way too sophisticated to be fooled by a lifeless prosthesis.
Photo: Danjaq/Eon Productions//Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Minox Camera, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Bond uses a small Minox A IIIs Camera in this movie. Spy cameras became so popular in the late-sixties and on, that you could find classified ads most science and tech magazines. These days: eBay.
Seiko Wristwatch, For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Who cares that the Seiko H357 5040 can't receive digital messages or be used as a walkie-talkie like in this Bond movie. It's still hot, and Iɽ wear one.
Polarizing Sunglasses, A View to a Kill (1985)
With these special circular polarized sunglasses, Bond could see through tinted windows. Big deal: Oakley made sunglasses that not only have polarized lenses, but integrated headphones, a 128 MB music player, and a built-in bounty hunter.
Photo: Danjaq/Eon Productions//Reed Saxon/AP
Ring camera, A View to a Kill (1985)
Nowadays miniaturized cameras are everywhere-like in the "Camer-ing," which is a discreet digital camera built in a ring. This neat device is designed by Hyeonsik Studio & Jeon Yengwon , and we're counting the minutes until it reaches production.
Sony Ericsson K800 Casino Royale (2006)
Back in 2006, the Sony Ericsson K800i phone cyber-shot camera was a pretty nice bit of kit: GPS and a fast 3.2 megapixel digital camera is at your secret service. These days, well, it's declassified, to say the least.
Photo: Danjaq/Eon Productions
Profile Touchscreen, Casino Royale (2006)
At MI6 headquarters, Bond's employers use a Profile Touchscreen Device in order to gather information about possible suspects. There's no magic in this digital table—it's basically the Microsoft-Samsung PixelSense (formerly known as Surface).