Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

James Bond Gadgets 157

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gimme-more-science-please-q dept.
whencanistop writes "Given that the new James Bond film is just about to be released, this is quite a nice summary of James Bond gadgets from past films. Tomorrow Never Dies was on telly last night and I was commenting on how the mobile phone that controlled the BMW was awesome, why they haven't done it in real life is beyond me (although there would probably be a few accidents if they ever did). Ridiculous to think that in 1963 the gadget of choice for Bond was a pager though." Of course, the best gadget in the Bond universe wasn't even 007's ... Jaws' teeth were the envy of every kid with braces.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

James Bond Gadgets

Comments Filter:
  • No problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:07PM (#25556545)

    Myth Busters build a remote controlled car every other episode (they always seem to build it from scratch... odd).

    Here's a toy car retrofitted to be controlled by an iPhone: http://www.walyou.com/blog/2008/09/10/how-to-remote-control-rc-cars-using-the-iphone/ [walyou.com]

    Put the two together (no problem), stick in a camera (also no problem) and you've got your own accident waiting to happen.

    Why does nobody do it? Most people have enough trouble driving a car with pedals and a big wheel while sitting in the driver's seat looking out the window, never mind trying to drive it with little buttons and a tiny screen from outside.

    It's cool that Bond films at least partially stick close enough to the near future that the gadgets are cool but we can look back 40 years and yawn.

    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:09PM (#25556585) Homepage Journal
      When I watched the original Bond films I never noticed all the gadgetry as I was too busy looking at all the Pussy Galore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by snspdaarf (1314399)
        Honor Blackman was my least favorite of all the Bond girls. Now, her Flying Circus pilots were another story!
    • Re:No problem (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:40PM (#25557131) Homepage

      Myth Busters build a remote controlled car every other episode (they always seem to build it from scratch... odd).

      Here's something that's bugged me for years (morbid though alert). You can easily add a couple of servos to a car's control system and control it via remote (although long range trips would be tricky even with long-range communications and a camera).

      Servos and remotes are cheaper than people. Why do we still have suicide bombers?

      • Re:No problem (Score:4, Interesting)

        by russotto (537200) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:56PM (#25557395) Journal

        Servos and remotes are cheaper than people. Why do we still have suicide bombers?

        The minor reason would be that a car driven by a dummy (or no driver at all) is likely to be noticed.

        The major reason is probably that your premise is false, at least where we have suicide bombers. Getting a car rigged to run by remote costs more than getting a <strike>sucker</strike>martyr to drive it there.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by xaxa (988988)

        Why do we still have suicide bombers?

        For the glory of Islam? Anyway, why would they want to wait around here before collecting the virgins?

      • Re:No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @02:05PM (#25558477)

        Here's something that's bugged me for years (morbid though alert). You can easily add a couple of servos to a car's control system and control it via remote (although long range trips would be tricky even with long-range communications and a camera).

        Servos and remotes are cheaper than people. Why do we still have suicide bombers?

        Because a driverless car downtown might draw some attention? No, seriously. Aside from the difficulty of a remote driver having good situational awareness in crappy Iraqi traffic, there's also the matter of camouflaging intent. Some suicide missions involve multiple people. Understandable if there's three separate bombers hitting one location but why have two people with one bomb? Why not have the second guy drive another bomb vehicle or hold back for another mission? Camouflage.

        Two guys are driving a delivery truck. You wouldn't think suicide bomber, that's only a loner. Now you've got a delivery driver arguing with the compound guard. C'mon, I got a delivery, I need inside. The guard would already be shooting at a driverless truck coming at him but this delivery looks like every other delivery coming through the gate.

        Right before we went into Afghanistan, a popular leader of the Northern Alliance gave an interview to a foreign television crew. This was a multi-man crew, the journalist, cameraman, and soundman. The bomb was in the camera. Interview starts, the television crew, their target, and several bystanders are killed. No single person could have gotten that close but several people posing as a film crew? That seems reasonable.

        I've also heard stories about kids included in suicide vehicles. They're probably not the driver's kids, who knows how they were abducted. But they're in the car making it look eminently civilian when the driver pulls up and hits the detonator.

        This sort of thing has two benefits for the terrorist. One, he gets to destroy his target. Two, now the GI's are all jumpy and no longer willing to discount kids as a sign the car is safe, they'll end up shooting up more innocent civilians, raising the terror level, and making the people more enraged with America.

        • Terrorists in Iraq have also planted a bomb in the wheelchair of a mentally-retarded child. It's pretty fucking despicable shit they're doing over there. (And the turds who say, "oh, the Americans are making that shit up" look at Al Qaeda running around cutting people's heads off and then bragging about it. Do you think these people wouldn't use a child's wheelchair as a bomb platform?)

      • Humans are used because "true believers" are easily recruited and highly reliable, whereas electronics and the expertise to build a reliable remote control system isn't. Plus, any remote is subject to jamming and easily rendered ineffective. Plus, buying the servos and motion-control gear does leave a bit of a paper trail.

        Plus, the press picks up far more readily on a suicide attack rather than a remote-controlled one. Suicide attacks give the impression of a "fighter" dying for a cause, wheras a remote

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Most of the most interesting targets are hardened against cars. For the rest, it would be just as easy to drive a car up, park in front and walk away (a la Timothy McVeigh).

    • "It's cool that Bond films at least partially stick close enough to the near future that the gadgets are cool but we can look back 40 years and yawn."

      From a story/plot point of view the trchnology has to be very close to what we have but just a little bit past it. Because the viewers do have to understand what the gadget does and also if the gadget was to "powerful" then 007's job would be to easy. For example we can't give hiom a gadget that can read minds that are on the other side of the earth and then

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Some of the books (and perhaps some of the earlier movies) had Bond's car practically indestructible. I notice they've dropped that. I don't think the cars have even been particularly bullet proof lately.

    • by Gulthek (12570)

      It's cool that Bond films at least partially stick close enough to the near future that the gadgets are coolâ¦

      Like cars that bend light around them?

      • Google this: invisibility suit wiki

        It works, but not nearly as well as in the Bond movie. But, that's the point, isn't it?

    • by symes (835608)
      This [youtube.com] is posibly some of the best fun I've seen people having with remote controlled cars.
  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:09PM (#25556579) Homepage

    are just car/gadget ads.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sc4ry4nt (1331937)
      I agree, though the last two (of the new revolution) contain considerably fewer gadgets and of those that are found, they're far from the "creative" gagets that came before...
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by UncleWilly (1128141) *

        In the first Bond book, Casino Royal, the only high tech is that J Bond has oversized headlights on his car. He is more a international detective, smoking two packs a day, and drinking hard liquor.

    • >>> Ridiculous to think that in 1963 the gadget of choice for Bond was a pager

      Not really. I was watching an old 60s "The Avengers" episode where some businessman was bragging about his new "electronic secretary" that went beep. That's all it did; just beep. So seeing Bond carrying a pager that not only beeps, but gives a little message on top of that is utterly amazing.

      Remember this was in the age of 0.1 kbit/s modems. Sloooow. Primitive. Barely-worked.

      • by v1 (525388)

        I used that exact model of pager in the article. Actually we shared a pager for whoever was on call.

        Scott had the pager when he headed to the rest room. It had a small two line text display. We TM'd him Don't Forget To Wipe.

        He was quite embarrassed when the pager went off in the bathroom. (pagers and cell phones ringing were total attention getters back then, no matter where, because almost nobody had them)

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:11PM (#25556629)
    What about Oddjob's razor-brimmed bowler hat? That's the one I always wanted! Mythbusters tried to make one, and managed to knock off the head of a concrete statue (with Kari throwing no less) even though it was a hollow core molded statue. Still, that hat put a new spin on the old "dressed to kill" standard!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:11PM (#25556643)

    ... to strap to his noggin in case he ever comes up against any similarly equipped sharks.

  • Best of the bunch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:13PM (#25556683) Homepage Journal

    Two words...Little Nellie! [jamesbondmm.co.uk] Can I have one please?

  • by sc4ry4nt (1331937) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:14PM (#25556695)
    ... there is a more (er, very!) comprehensive list on Wikipedia (of course, where else!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_James_Bond_gadgets [wikipedia.org]
  • by pimpsoftcom (877143) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:15PM (#25556711) Journal

    I know this because I designed/created a system to do it a few years back.

    Its actually not very hard, I did this with a app on my then-new smart phone, using its internet access to connect car based computer I also gave internet access and configured to use a static host name using a dy-dns like setup on the car based computer system.

    The hardest problem I had was calibration of the electronics to interface with the actual driving of the car; I never realized how much we as humans compensate for a slight directional drift on the steering wheel, or how refined our ability to break slowly is. Also, the brakes are an issue as the correct leverage for the breaks can be broken easily if you don't set it up correctly; Get it wrong and you cant actually use the car outside of the remote control because the assembly to drive it is in the way.

    In general, The older the car, the more issues you will have. Also, the power and electrical systems are the picture of inadequacy if you are looking to build your own 'Kit'. I actually may try to dig out my old notes, many of my ideas for additions may be possible now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Janeshat (1388077)
      Yes, Dr. Horrible had a little issue with the stopping of the van as well. Of course Captain Hammer had smashed his magnetic control transciever.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Back then a pager was a big thing. Consumer electronics of that type were still kind of new back then.

    Honestly, some people seem to think the world began with episode 1 of star wars.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)

      Honestly, some people seem to think the world began with episode 1 of star wars.

      No, that was the beginning of the end of the world.

      • by genner (694963)

        Honestly, some people seem to think the world began with episode 1 of star wars.

        No, that was the beginning of the end of the world.

        Then the Matrix sequels came out and the world actually ended.

        Welcome to Earth 2.0

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by peragrin (659227)

          earth 2 came out and bombed. Personally I want earth 3. SP 2

          • Since none of us will ever agree on which version of Earth we want, how about we just go the Slider's method? Fork the Earth, and to each their own!
          • Langly: "You look down, Mulder. Tell you what, you're welcome to come over Saturday night. We're all hopping on the Internet to nitpick the scientific inaccuracies of Earth 2."

            Oh how times have changed.

        • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:43PM (#25557187) Homepage Journal

          Then the Matrix sequels came out and the world actually ended.

          This will blow your mind, but there are no Matrix sequels...

          • Do not try to enjoy the sequels, that's impossible. Instead, only try to know the truth.

          • by SimonGhent (57578)

            This will blow your mind, but there are no Matrix sequels...

            I keep telling myself that. Generally it works, but sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I know the truth.

            • by xaxa (988988)

              This will blow your mind, but there are no Matrix sequels...

              I keep telling myself that. Generally it works, but sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I know the truth.

              For me, the truth generally comes the morning after.

          • by Loibisch (964797)

            This will blow your mind, but there are no Matrix sequels...

            Don't we all wish that were true...

    • I work for a WELL-known IT hardware/software giant that goes by a TLA. They just issued me a new 1-way pager.

      So there, ha!

    • by homer_ca (144738) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:46PM (#25557233)

      It was a different world of communications back then. Most homes didn't even have answering machines until the late 70's/early 80's. Businesses paid for answering services with live operators. If you weren't home to answer the phone, you didn't get the message.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:19PM (#25556795) Homepage

    They didn't mention the Bensen Gyrocopter [msgyro.com] from "You Only Live Twice". That was a real, flyable aircraft, although the version that came in four big suitcases (a scene stolen from "Thief of Baghdad") was a dummy.

  • by icke (661710) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:23PM (#25556865)
    Of course there is the Eddie Izzard sketch [youtube.com] brilliantly animated without the help of Daniel Craig.
  • by tsa (15680)

    Can someone tell me from which server the pictures in the fine article come? I seem to have adblocked them or something, because I don't see them.

  • May I direct you attention to the one gadget we all really want: the Aston Martin with champagne refrigerator. You might want some of the other features http://www.aston-martin.us/007/goldfinger.html [aston-martin.us] but I submit that the combination of the two were the most useful for defeating the other side. Really, how often will you ever "retractable tyre slashers" to impress a woman? And even for guys here on Slashdot, you're 1000 times more likely to need an advantage when dealing with women than ever have to dous
  • The underwater car, gadget 2 in TFA, was the one I always wanted. Unfortunately I do not know of such a car ever being made, there's been a few amphibious cars but I've never heard of a car which can actually turn into a mini-sub underwater.

    I guess the lack of oxygen would be a slight problem for any combustion-based vehicle, maybe Bond's car was electric?

    • Agreed and good luck ever getting an electric car in the US...
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      The tested one on a British car show on here a year or so ago. It's not an enclosed sub - you need to wear diving gear to use it underwater, but it does work as a submarine and can move from land, into water then submerge itself when you're in a suitable place.

    • Re:Car-sub! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by netsavior (627338) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @12:44PM (#25557205)
      yes, yes they have had a sub-car
      Rinspeed sQuba [rinspeed.com]
      • by Candid88 (1292486)

        That car is crazy!

      • Re:Car-sub! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by steveha (103154) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @02:48PM (#25559139) Homepage

        Fascinating. Here's a link to the text explaining the car:

        http://www.rinspeed.com/pages/cars/squba/pre-squba.htm [rinspeed.com]

        This is an actual car, but the Bond version remains sheer fantasy. The Rinspeed's passenger compartment is not pressurized; it's designed to let the water in. According to the above cited text:

        With an enclosed volume of just two cubic meters of air the vehicle weight would have to increase by two tons (!) to counteract the unwanted buoyancy, giving the "sQuba" the land mobility of a turtle.

        The James Bond movie car drove fast on land, and shot wet cement onto the windscreen of a pursuing car, before driving into the sea and then firing a missile to shoot down a helicopter. This is cooler, though, because it actually exists.

        steveha

  • My favorite, I think perhaps from one of the Roger Moore Bond films, was the Soviet agents knife in the shoe. It was hilarious watching her try to kick Bond, swinging the leg around trying to 'git im'

    • by Knara (9377)
      Yeah, that was in "From Russia With Love". It always seemed to me to be the most stupid "hidden" weapon I've seen. Good if you're in a crowd, massively ineffective in a 1on1 situation.
      • The blades were poisoned. All she had to do was knick Bond and "that's all folks".

        In the novel though its poisoned knitting needles.
        • by Knara (9377)

          I realize they're poisoned, which was why it was good to have them in a place where someone was unlikely to be able to retreat or stay out of legs' reach.

          At least with poisoned knitting needles you could throw them or use them in some sort of traditional martial sense.

  • super-strong electromagnets built into wristwatches, finger-sized lasers that can cut through metal, electric saws in you watch (again). If we had the technology to supply these things with the power they need, we'd never need to switch off our laptops, as the batteries would never run out. However, they'd have far too much stored energy to ever be let through airport security.
    • If we had the technology to supply these things with the power they need,

      Hey, wait a minute! Are you saying these things are... fictional?

      Why didn't anybody tell me! My business model is shot! My Step 3 is dependent on these super-dense power supplies! Now I'll never get to Profit!

  • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @01:00PM (#25557437) Journal
    Short story as I want to go home in a minute...

    Broke both my jaws 20 years ago, two metal gumshields were glued to my teeth, both of these had little hooks pointing up/down away from my mouth, on these hooks were elastic bands, these bands kept my nouth in the correct possition (and had to be cut if ever I puked).

    When I'd healed, the elastic bands were removed and I looked just like Jaws. No white teeth, just metal.

    If it wasn't for all the other metalwork screwed into my skull, I'd have been chewing through cables. :)

    Liquid food for ten weeks... No pictures but I promise you it did happen.
    • by Viol8 (599362) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @01:24PM (#25557837)

      I guess it didn't heal so well then?

    • by sam0737 (648914)

      Looks like 20 years later the medic technology is improved...?

      I have intentionally broken my jaw 3 years ago, or actually I was having my malocclusions conditions treated. 6 weeks of liquid food (if you still call that food...)

      Besides the titanium screws that were blot on the jaw bone which were taken out in another operation later, there were a metal wrapping wires which wrap around the teeth. The hooks are glued to the teeth just like normal braces though, which is removable once done...

      The metalwork used

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @01:07PM (#25557551)
    Least known, but most used, Bond gadget: penis
  • Suicide pills I've always found to be scary, even scarier are the people who employ them. There's just something unsettling to Western sensibilities when someone is willing to give their lives for a cause, not just in the "might not come back from this mission" context but "I'm biting down on a cyanide ampule and there's no coming back from--ACK!" To the western mind, the slight chance of survival from an apparently suicidal mission is completely different from an intentionally suicidal mission where succes

    • by Alistar (900738)

      The point of the cyanide pill isn't to give your life for the cause.

      They want to live. The point is to sacrifice yourself before they can question you.
      That's why in "Tomorrow Never Dies" M chastises Bond for not using it when he was captured, because they think he was the one spilling secrets.

      • The point of the cyanide pill isn't to give your life for the cause.

        I'm aware of that as an adult but as a child I always conflated the two. And it makes for a good point, anyone will break under torture. I know the Tamil Tigers make L-pill training a daily event so that the thought of taking the capsule from around your neck and biting down on it becomes second-nature, it will be the unthinking, unquestioning response when faced with capture. Pretty scary stuff.

  • "Mini speedboat - The World is Not Enough (1999) Pierce Brosnan

    I'm not sure that Pierce Brosnan's mini speedboat really qualifies as a gadget, but it was an electric opening sequence, and its bijou size means its almost small enough to fit in your pocket and qualify as a gadget.
    "

    Maybe with todays fashion you could fit them in your pants.

  • IS the gadget.

  • Jet pack - Thunderball (1965) Sean Connery

    Not really a gadget but one of the more memorable personal devices that Bond has possessed. After killing Colonel Jacques Bouvar at a chateau, Bond uses the jet pack to return to his car, an Aston Martin DB5. The pack used was developed by Bell Aerosystems as the Bell Rocket Belt which only had a 20 second flying time using a hydrogen peroxide fuel. The scenes in Thunderball were shot using two stuntmen and the shrill sound of the jets was overdubbed with the sound

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine

Working...