007’s Spy Gadgets

Although the James Bond movie series began with a surprising lack of gadgetry and big-budget fireworks, who would the Bond we’ve come to know today be without all his gadgets?

007's Spy Gadgets 1

Here’s a list of some of our favorite James Bond gadgets and how realistic/functional they’d be in the real world.

  • Robot Dog (A View To A Kill, 1985)
    Remember in the 1980s when robots were cool? Every movie or TV show from Short Circuit to Small Wonder had a robot in it and Bond was no different. In A View to a Kill, Q has a small dog sized surveillance robot that he operates by remote control. You might remember how Q used the robot to spy on Bond girl, Stacy Sutton, when she was coming out of the shower. Could it work? Yes. After 9/11, hundreds of robots were used to scourer the wreckage of the World Trade Center’s collapsed twin towers and help diffuse road side bombs in Iraq.
  • X-Ray Glasses (The World Is Not Enough, 1999)
    These blue sunglasses from Q’s lab are both stylish and functional with X-ray ability that allow Bond to wander though a casino viewing concealed weapons and inspecting ladies’ lingerie. But could it work? No. These glasses stretch the barriers of X-ray technology a little too far. X-rays are most widely used in medicine to visualize bones and organs and requires the subject to stand stationary for a few seconds in order to work properly.
  • Jetpack (Thunderball, 1965)
    One of the most spectacular gizmos, the jetpack, only appears for a moment. Bond straps it on and escapes over a high wall to his waiting Aston Martin DB5. The jetpack is real and was originally developed for the US Army by Bell Textron Laboratories. High pressure nitrogen gas is released through the nozzles to give a powerful burst of rocket propulsion. The military jetpack prototype could carry a person over a 30-foot-high wall at a speed of 7-10mph. Having just 30 seconds flight time, however, the jetpack was scrapped by the army. These days, it’s reserved for novelty value and was used in the 1984 Olympic Games opening ceremony in Los Angeles.

There are plenty more Bond gadgets. These were just some of my favorites. Thanks to a remastered DVD collection of the James Bond movie series fans can relive all their favorite gadget scenes over and over again.