5 James Bond Gadgets Replaced By Smartphone

For decades, James Bond has been a standard by which cool is measured. Other than his irresistible charm, calm under pressure and signature drink order, the Bond character is most singly defined by the technology that makes his assaults and escapes so memorable. While Bond perpetually saves the day and gets the girl, it’s easy to forget who made most of Bond’s exploits possible, Q.  Not to be forgotten, Bond villains are no slouches when it comes to countering 007’s efforts with their own tech.

That being said, some of what MI6 and Bond villains developed and crafted can now be found on Bond’s smartphone. Here are 5 examples of Bond-related gadgets or technologies that can now be accessed on a single device.


Homing/Tracking devices – Just about every Bond film



Keeping tabs on your enemies and their strange, random island-dwelling behavior is what the spy game is all about. In the case of MI6, making sure 007 is safe and secure is a priority as well. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of homing or tracking devices, which Bond and his team use regularly to crash umbrella-drinked island parties unannounced… without bringing a bottle to contribute. Rude.

Although this one is a bit less discrete, as users must opt-in to have their location disclosed, tracking technology is definitely available on iOS and Android devices.

In the case of iOS, you have both Find My Friends and the device-saving Find My iPhone/iPad features.

For Android users, there’s the aptly named GPS Tracking Pro, which offers a well reviewed experience for parents looking to track their kids… or, you know, the whole philandering spouses thing.


Remote Control Evil Lair Opener – Thunderball


A character originally written to have “hairy hands which are likened to crawling tarantulas,” it’s no wonder villain Emilio Largo wanted a quiet, discreet spot in which to presumably cry. As “#2” of the SPECTRE terrorist organization, which totally only wanted nuclear capabilities to power their coffee maker, Largo’s organization devised a clever way to chill out behind the place they keep their chips and cereal.

Through some hackery, this function is now available to smartphone users. Using Arduino, Siri and a whole lot of awesome, Laan Labs constructed the following solution:

Not sure if Jason is wearing an eye-patch for absolutely no reason, or has a nuclear arsenal, but you’re looking at the future of home security/controlled-laziness.


Radio Controlled Helicopter – For Your Eyes Only



Is that guy using a boom-box to fly that helicopter? The “presumed” Ernst Blofeld, the presumed part being for legal reasons, toys with Bond by flying a helicopter like an RC car.

By the way, an army of cats flying helicopters remotely using mind-control over humans has been foretold as part of the 2043 Internet wars, in which cats fight for their freedom to not have bread put on them or filmed without permission.

For RC hobbyists with smartphones, this is a seriously cool reality. Using Parrot’s AR Drone helicopter and their Free Flight app for iOS, pilots can fly by thumb, take pictures and receive real-time feedback from the vehicle:


Fingerprint Scanner – Diamonds Are Forever



Warning, the above video is NSFW-ish because, well… Bond girl. Everybody does their best work in their négligée though, right? In this scene, Tiffany Case takes a snap of Bond’s drink, which surprisingly isn’t a shaken Martini, and uses his fingerprint  to find his real identity. Of course, Bond is one step ahead of her by using another man’s fingerprints.

The FingerScanner app for Android will “read your print” to allow you to unlock your phone in certain conditions. This one is kind of a stretch, but hey look over there…


Virtual Combat Training Simulator – Die Another Day


The next best thing to cleverly destroying baddies for a living is being able to do so without the Aston Martin, expensive suit or getting up from your chair, really. Q’s virtual combat simulator technology in DAD, although much more high tech than anything to date (I believe this is called movie magic), is merely a very expensive video game with rad sunglasses. Heck, you could argue that Goldeneye for N64 could give you all the Bond training you’d need for the super-low price of a pawn shop visit.

FPS gaming on mobile devices has become more prevalent, and offer ample combat simulation depending on what you’re simulating. Worried about Zombies all up in your spy grill? Try the Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies app. Feel like going stealth? Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard HD for iPad lets you get freaky and sneaky. Want to blast face with friends? Gameloft’s awesome FPS offering, Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation, is the current king of the mobile FPS genre.

Bond’s current phone, by the way, is the Sony Xperia TL.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the next James Bond iteration includes some app-specific technology, such as a “swipe to disarm warhead” function or sending push notifications to his nemesis to send him on the run, extending the action/movie another couple of hours. Just make sure you bring a flask for Martinis, and set it to vibrate, not stirred.

Josh Wolff