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The Digital Den

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50 Years of James Bond – 50 Years of Gadgets

So let me share an insider secret. This is actually the blog I was going to post on Friday. The toys that 007 tinkers with during his assignments are some of the key trademarks of the series. But after seeing the movie, I was so inspired more by the music of the film and the mesmerizing opening credits that after the film was finished, I knew what I wanted to write about first.

But the technology used by superspies isn’t anything to overlook either.

There’s been a lot of tech in Bond-verse from whether it’s the Jet Pack from Thunderball, the crocodile “outfit” from Octopussy or the infamous Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger.  But what was technological landscape in 1962 when Dr. No initially released?

  • The Ranger 3 space probe is launched to the moon. (It missed by 22K miles)
  • Spacewar is released as one of the first video games for computers.
  • Phillips releases the first audio cassette

Suffice to say, there have been quite a few advances made in the last few years. In fact, there have been so many technological advancements, that much of what you see in a typical James Bond movie isn’t to far from actually existing today.  Some of these things may not be at superspy status, but we are definitely close. Here are a few examples:

  • Remotely starting your car. Quickly becoming standard, but some of you may remember when power locks where all the rage.
  • GPS Trackers – Almost becoming commonplace, but it’s becoming easier and easier to find super villains through GPS systems.
  • Instant messaging – In From Russia with Love, James Bond used a pager. (Remember those?) SMS/MMS has become such a standard now; you can send a message anytime/anyplace. (Except in a movie theater, that’s frowned upon.)

These are just a few examples everyday technology advancements that in some cases weren’t as commonplace 5-10 years ago.  Technology is such an integrated part of our lifestyle that we don’t always even notice the transition, it just simply is. It’ll be really interesting to see where the next fifty years take us. For me, I’m still hoping for jet packs and lightsabers.

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