Imagining an arsenal of slick new James Bond gadgets (pictures)

What happens when you ask a group of designers to come up with new gear for 007? You get inventions clever enough to even impress Q.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
1 of 13 Freelancer.com

Spy tie

If there's one thing James Bond movies are famous for (besides kisses, kills and cocktails), it's all those wonderful gadgets. True gadget lovers, of course, know that 007 can never have enough of them at his disposal. Fear not. The site Freelancer.com, which pools freelance talent, recently asked its members to come up with takes on brand new Bond spy toys, effectively turning them into a team of Qs.

This entry combines Bond's always-dapper style with his need to be prepared for any situation. It's a tie that could turn into a chainsaw at the touch of a button. Not only that, but the tie is magnetic, so if Bond was about to fall out of a helicopter, he could slap it to the side of the bird and hang on. Finally, if things got really bad, the tie has a built-in explosive so Bond could blow himself up -- along with the nearby bad guys, of course. And as we have just seen, bombs and Bond go really well together.

The concept for this deadly tie was provided by Freelancer.com member SliderUA, from Ukraine.

2 of 13 Freelancer.com

Super shoe

Keeping with the clothing theme, Albertus Januardy from Indonesia came up with these super shoes. The heel of the shoe contains a booster, which could help Bond run faster and jump higher. There's even an exhaust port so heat from the booster to escape. The front of the shoe contains a taser that could deliver some shocking kicks or deliver an electric jolt through a puddle of water or a metal surface.

Januardy also submitted a rotating image of the shoe via this YouTube video.

3 of 13 Freelancer.com

Danger drone

It seems everyone is a bit drone-crazy these days, so why shouldn't Bond get in on the action? But this isn't your normal backyard drone that you can use to sweep up the leaves (fortunately). It's a much more dangerous version created by Philippines-based Freelancer.com user Rock. The drone, which Bond could control from his smartphone (naturally), comes equipped with a thermal-imaging camera, 24 missiles and a gun.

4 of 13 Freelancer.com

Power pen

Bond has used a few tricky pens during his career, but if he had Freelancer.com member HKart working on his team in Q's lab, he'd have the ultimate writing device in his pocket.

This compact gizmo has a tungsten drill that emerges from its tip. Slide the clip at the other end, and it becomes a radio frequency jammer that sends screeching noise through electronic communication devices within a 100-meter (328-foot) radius. The back half of the pen contains a carbon dioxide laser for cutting through anything the drill can't handle.

5 of 13 Freelancer.com

Buggy tech

This idea from erpb12, another pen concept, is called "The Gadget of Last Resort." That's because once the pen is opened, this little insectoid drone flies out and injects everyone who moves with a deadly venom.

6 of 13 Freelancer.com

Flavor explosion

We're not so sure James Bond is the chewing-gum type, but if you look at the maker of the gum, we're also not so sure this is for 007.

In either case, this invention by designer Prasad Morajkar would certainly allow an agent to pack some undetectable firepower. The idea is that the sticks inside the pack are explosives. A small chip inside the metal foil can be used to set a timer and trigger the blast. Talk about a flavor explosion.

7 of 13 Freelancer.com

Not your father's briefcase

Since Bond first wore a rocket belt in 1965's "Dr. No," personal jetpacks have come a long way and may, in fact, soon become commercially available.

This twist on the personal flying gear from designer Stephen Penn hides a complete jetpack in a briefcase. The device transforms -- as you can see in this video -- when activated via the handle. It grabs onto suspenders Bond would already be wearing and holds fast thanks to electromagnetic coupling.

8 of 13 Freelancer.com

Acoustic black hole

We're not so sure the science behind this gadget is sound, but this was a exercise in imagination, right? And an acoustic black hole certainly sounds cool (see what I did there?).

"Assassins and spies have been trying to silence themselves for very long now," says the creator, Swiss designer, kody9998. "Lighter steps, silencers on their firearms, covering the mouths of their victims... Our top scientists and engineers have tried to find a way to do this on a large scale, and we found a way. This device, when activated, emits a sound that is just beyond human hearing capabilities. They play this sound so loud that it blocks out all other sounds and replaces it with the absence of noise. You can adjust the range of this device with the slider around the cylinder."

9 of 13 Freelancer.com

Laser 'links

A well-dressed agent would never be spotted without his cufflinks and his laser weapon. This concept by Portuguese designer MS3dmodeling combines both into one slick little package. What looks like a jewel in the center of each cufflink would actually be a high-powered laser -- good for blasting baddies and driving superspy cats crazy.

10 of 13 Freelancer.com

Deadly relaxation

You know those silver balls lots of executives have on their desks that are supposedly meant to bring a sense of calm when they're rolled around in one's hand? Romanian designer Gabriel Popescu has flipped the concept on its head by turning the balls into something that will deliver death and destruction instead.

Although Bond's not really a desk jockey, this might be perfect for the normally office-bound M.

The balls consist of a titanium shell and a uranium-powered engine. When activated via smartphone, they zoom through the air at deadly speeds, taking out everyone in the room -- except the person holding the phone, as they are guided by sensitive electronics that allow them to avoid the user.

11 of 13 Freelancer.com

Phone drone

This invention from Morocco-based designer Dakota Bashir would actually appeal to lots of people, whether or not they had a license to kill. It's a tiny drone built into the back of a smartphone. What looks like the phone's camera lens is actually a tiny camera-armed flyer that can be deployed with the press of a button.

While its primary use is surveillance, because this particular drone would be used by Bond, it naturally also contains a small explosive that could turn it into a weapon if need be.

12 of 13 Freelancer.com

Better bullet?

Bond is pretty attached to his Walther PPK pistol in most of his films, so why not load it up with some spectacular bullets?

Imagined by design company Artificial Immortality (AI), this bullet is made from 20 milligrams of cesium covered with 10 milligrams of hydrogen and 5 milligrams, a combination that "has the same mechanics as atomic bombs," according to the designers.

"At the time of the explosion, when the cesium mixes with the hydrogen," they say, "a huge amount of silent energy releases from the bullet." When that encounters the radium, according to AI -- and remember, this was an imaginative contest -- it "kills any target immediately" and can also "explode any material like glass, water, plastic, wood, metal, etc."

13 of 13 Freelancer.com

Diminutive drone

This drone/phone concept comes from India's Aniket Sawantdesai. Instead of embedding the drone on the back of the phone, as we saw from Dakota Bashir, this time the tiny flyer pops out from the side of the device and can be used for surveillance.

Bond might not have to walk on any more window ledges if he could just send this nifty piece of spy tech to do the job for him.

To check out even more would-be Bond gadgets, visit the Design the Ultimate James Bond contest page here and vote for your favorites. The submission with the most votes at the end of the contest on November 20 will win $500 (about £331, AU$711).

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