10 January 2022 667 Views

The Assessment of the Realism of James Bond Gadgets

by James Murphy

The James Bond franchise has been around for more than 50 years and has provided us with many gadgets that are cool to look at and have some exciting features. From a high-powered laser to a car with an ejector seat, these devices are exciting on the big screen but can this gadget be used in real life?

However, many of Bond’s gadgets need him to breathe in the air. According to experts at Direct Air, breathing compressed air after compression is extremely dangerous, and therefore requires excellent caution before usage.

“Breathing in compressed air after compression is actually incredibly harmful and anyone who knows their way around this kind of equipment would never recommend doing so.

As a secret agent, the ability to be undetected is crucial. The sound levels of compressed air can be anywhere from 35 decibels to upwards of 120 decibels. Not only will this give away anyone’s position, but the higher levels can cause permanent damage if the correct Personal Protection Clothing (PPC) isn’t worn!

These gadgets are not practical in the real world and anyone wanting to make copycats needs to seriously consider the health and safety element

-Richard Brown, Senior Sales Engineer, Direct Air.

Let’s explore some of the franchise’s most renowned gadgets and how they could potentially be applied in real-life to be used.

Avalanche Ski Jacket

The avalanche ski jacket is introduced in “The World Is Not Enough”. Having access to such a handy gadget would make sense because skiing along with mountain climbing can be considered one of the most dangerous activities in the world.

The technology used to create this ski jacket makes it waterproof and can resist intense cold conditions, so we can already see how useful such a device would be for skiers who risk getting caught up in an avalanche.

The ski jacket inflates into a sealed sphere that cushions the wearer from any potential impact.  It has a particular steel pocket that displays indicators away from digital monitoring gadgets, so the skier knows if they are being tracked.

These operate similarly to emergency dinghies crossed with life jackets. However, the air canister may not be as concealed as in the movie.

However, the material in the movie seems thin for use against an avalanche; using a Hypalon and PVC would offer better protection.

Water Sphere Ball

The ‘Diamonds are Forever‘ water ball is also known as aqua zorbing; Bond was ahead of the time here. You can now do aqua zorbing all over the UK, so this definitely would’ve been a possibility in the world of Bond. Could he have walked on water indefinitely, though? Unlikely.

Water would inevitably find its way into the compartment, and there’s not much that can be done. The question here is could Bond launch the zorb ball from his pocket? Unlikely. He’d need to have it pre-made to ensure the sides were robust enough to prevent water leaking in and take his weight sufficiently.

The main drawback is how quickly the water would run out. This gadget doesn’t appear to have a particular refill system, so it’s not very practical if you were using it on an extended mission.

In this 1971 addition to the franchise, Bond has parachuted into the sea near an oil rig platform that villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld was using as his ultimate lair. Before doing so, he uses a water sphere akin to that of an aqua zorbing ball to help him walk on water to the platform.

Gondola Hovercraft

The Moonraker gondola hovercraft is a gadget that James Bond uses in the movie of the same name (1979). This device was designed to help Bond escape from enemies trying to capture him. It’s made up of two main parts: the gondola and the hovercraft itself.

The gondola is like a typical boat, but it contains propellers at the back that allows Bond to travel overland. The hovercraft is also fitted with two machine guns on each side for protection; this device can be used both in air and water.

As we know, hovercrafts are no longer a gadget of the future, and although Bond’s gondola changes very rapidly, this technology is used worldwide.

The scene has been sped up for visual effects, so it would be a lot more realistic in terms of timings if this was not the case. This is the case for all of these gadgets; they’re swift and effective when in use.

Shark Gun Pellet

The ‘Live and Let Die’ shark gun pellet is a gadget that James Bond uses in the same name (1973) movie. Villain Kananga has captured Bond and his partner Solitaire and tries to lower them in a shark tank.

Much to his dismay, Bond manages to escape and he forces Kananga to digest a compressed gas pellet that is used in shark guns which causes his body to explode after he has been fully inflated. 

It’s difficult to understand how swallowing the pellet would immediately cause the victim to inflate and burst. Still, there does not appear to be any trigger that initiates this carbon dioxide pellet.

If the pellet had been set off by something before being forced, it would need to be much more significant to accommodate the trigger above.



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