Top 10 gadgets for Bond-wannabes
It's hard to be a geek without harbouring some fondness for James Bond.
Ian Fleming's long-running spy series has always been a showground for the niftiest spy gadgets and military hardware, both inspired by reality and pulled straight from imagination.
Q's been missing for the last couple of movies (we hear a much younger version will be appearing in Skyfall), so we secluded ourselves in the PC World labs to play quartermaster to your 007 fantisies.
That's right: we've rounded up our top-ten pieces of gear that you can buy, no license to kill required, to give you Bond-like abilities.
Bond has used Sony hardware before, both Vaio laptops and Sony Ericsson phones. Skyfall sees Daniel Craig's Bond adopt the Sony Xperia T, which sadly has yet to make an appearance in New Zealand.
If you want 007's 'real' watch, this is the latest. It's a respected divers' watch, but that's really all it is. No lasers, no buzz-saw, no GPS, no poison darts. If you want James Bond functionality rather than style, check out Sony's Smart Watch to go with your Xperia T, or Suunto's range of extreme sport watches for GPS and more.
007 has never used one of these himself, but it's right up his alley: a write-anywhere pen that can be used as a self-defence tool or an emergency glass-breaker. Think of Pierce Brosnan's glass-breaking ring, the 'Single digit sonic agitator unit', in Die Another Day. A pen's a little bigger than a ring, but at least it doesn't run on batteries.
Want military-spec night vision goggles, the same technology used by our own army, without getting yourself on some government watchlist? Check out this totally legitimate, if terribly pricey, set of NVGs from New Zealand's largest gun store. If your budget doesn't stretch so far, go for something a little simpler.
Night vision is cool, but thermal vision is even cooler. No pun intended. See in the dark, through smoke, through obstacles, pick out person-shaped heat sources at a distance or even spot recently-used car engines from their heat signatures. Like good night vision, though, you're really going to pay for it.
There are a lot of sunglasses that shoot HD video, but most of them look just awful. Certainly not as slick and stylish as you'd expect of Britain's top secret agent. The Quiver HD Cyclops really does look like a quality pair of sunglasses, but also shoots 720p video discretely and from your point of view. Best of all, it's even affordable without a ministerial budget.
Waterproof, tamper-resistant, hardware-encrypted USB drive? The perfect accessory to store your most precious data, savegames, state secrets... whatever you've got. Yes, the ol' IronKey makes yet another appearance in a 'top 10' list... though note the change of name, as the iconic indestructible-flash-drive brand has been taken over by storage veterans Imation.
When Google Glass eventually breaks into the market, it's sure to end up on a future Bond - at least, if the final product looks anything like the concept shots that have been floating around the net. Can't wait, and want to set up your own augmented reality head-mounted display? The slickest we've seen is the Star 1200XL from Vuzix, available now. They provide the hardware and an SDK, but the 'augmented reality' software is up to you.9. AR.Drone 2.0
This is truly one of the coolest tech toys we've ever seen, has appeared in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and really needs to make its way into 007's inventory. The AR.Drone 2.0 is an indoor/outdoor quadcopter which is controlled by, and streams live video to, an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. Leave the decorative stickers off, and it's matte black for added stealth - what more could you want?
If you're out to drive like Bond (in vehicle if not in death-defying style), there's a huge list to choose from based on your personal preferences for era and style of automobile. Our choice is Aston Martin's DBS V12 Coupe, as featured in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. You can pick one up in New Zealand, but as for the price, if you have to ask...