Intel IQ: Which Fictional James Bond Gadgets Were Made Real?

Intel IQ: Which Fictional James Bond Gadgets Were Made Real?

Some of the cutting edge high-tech gadgets found in previous 007 movies are now commonplace technology.

Nestor Bailly, PSFK
  • 27 november 2012

Over the past 50 years across 23 films, James Bond has employed any number of high-tech gadgets to complete his missions with a flair for the dramatic and a double-o dose of intrigue. While they might have first stretched the limits of reality when they first appeared on the big screen alongside Ian Fleming’s famous spy, we’ve unearthed three technologies that have now become commonplace.

GPS’ Tracking In 1964’s Goldfinger and GPS today

In 1964’s Goldfinger, Bond places a homing device in Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce, tracking the villain to Switzerland with a console in his own Aston Martin. This beacon is basically an early version of GPS. Location services like this are now so accurate that they can direct you around large indoor areas like department stores– a far cry from Bond’s map with a blinking light. As accuracy increases we can expect even more data about what’s around us and new ways to connect with our neighbors, as well as methods to keep track of our loved ones.

The ‘radioactive homing pill’ in Thunderball and an example of digital pills today

Since narrowly escaping death defying situations and often winding up stranded in the middle of nowhere as a result is one of the major perks of 007’s job, personal tracking devices have figured prominently in a number of the films. In 1965’s Thunderball, Bond is given a ‘radioactive homing pill’ that activates when swallowed. The pill then sent out a signal that was tracked with a special receiver, helping the Coast Guard rescue Bond when he was trapped by the villain Largo in a cave. These days we have digital pills from Proteus Digital Health that activate when they come into contact with stomach fluid, sending health data to a sensor on the patient’s skin. Similar technology is also used to monitor athletes’ and astronauts’ health in extreme situations, but a swallowable homing device could be lifesaving for rescue workers in situations where they could get lost or trapped.

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