James Bond and his many gadgets

The Sean Connery era was mostly tame compared with today's basic smart phone or tablet, though it seemed anything but to a 10-year-old who kept pestering his parents for Bond-like paraphernalia (they just didn't understand). Today is Global James Bond Day - only three weeks before the release of 007's latest, "Skyfall." I'm sure it's just a coincidence. Washington Post writer Dominic Basulto looks at the world of Bond gadetry:

While it may be too much of a stretch to say that our conception of the modern smart phone was derived from the James Bond wristwatch -- the high-end-technology-as-accessory you can take anywhere -- there's no denying that the smart phone enables its owner to take on the guise of James Bond as we travel anywhere in the world. The technology endows us with the power to open satellite maps, send encrypted messages and understand foreign languages, all with the click of a button. There is now an app for just about anything, each one a high-tech gizmo worthy of a super-spy. Part of the reason why we love new smart phone technologies so much is because they create the mystique that we associate with characters like James Bond, and they give us entrée to a world of high-tech magic.

Bond taught us to think big when it comes to innovation, and it was never "incremental" -- it was always terribly "disruptive." The name "James Bond" has is all but synonymous with seeing technologies that we've never seen before. For Bond, the "killer app" was exactly that -- something that could mean the difference between life and death. It could be the deadly briefcase in "Dr. No" -- with its supply of tear gas and 40 rounds of ammo -- or the panoply of dangerous devices rigged up to his Aston Martin. At times, the "killer app" was actually the "survival app" -- the one gadget that enabled Bond to elude his foes - like the jet pack in 1965's "Thunderball."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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