For so many, the best part of the James Bond films has nothing to do with him hopping behind the wheel of a tank and smashing his way across St. Petersberg, or chasing someone across a construction site in Mumbai. Instead, it’s the moment when he meets Q and receives his arsenal of spy gadgets that he’ll use in his quest to save the world once again.
While real-life spies may not use Rolex watches that also shoot lasers while they’re in the field, they DO have a wide range of different devices that let them accomplish incredible things on a daily basis. When you take a look at this list of some of the coolest spy gadgets ever, you begin to see that James Bond’s watch laser may not be too far away from reality.
Think for a moment about all of the data that passes back and forth across your home network. The digital keys to your life – from bank account information to conversations to photos and more – are all contained on one simple connection at some point during your day. This is a large part of why network security is so essential – it keeps this information away from prying eyes as much as possible.
This is also why devices like the Cottonmouth-1 are so impressive. What initially appears to be just a basic USB cord is actually a sophisticated wireless bridge. Once connected to any piece of equipment on a targeted network, it allows someone who knows what they’re doing (read: spies) to actually sneak on and exploit individual computers in the area!
For decades, cyanide has been an important part of spycraft for a decidedly morbid reason. In the event that someone like a CIA agent is ever captured and subjected to interrogation or torture, they typically use cyanide hidden somewhere on their person to kill themselves while preserving the essential secrets that cannot fall into the wrong hands under any circumstances.
In the 1970s, the CIA developed a pair of cyanide glasses that took this idea to the extreme. Hidden inside the glasses was a cyanide pellet in a protected container. American captives could chew through the glasses and bite into the capsule, all without their would-be torturers realizing what was happening in the first place!
The Kiss of Death
For a spy, the only thing better than having quick access to a gun is one that your enemy doesn’t even realize you have. This was the idea at the heart of the “Kiss of Death,” a lipstick pistol first developed by the KGB during the mid-1960s. What initially appeared to be just a regular tube of lipstick was actually a powerful little device housing a deadly secret – a compact 4.5mm firearm was brilliantly hidden inside!
The Fake Monopoly Board Game
Not all spy gadgets are developed internally by organizations like the CIA or the FBI. Sometimes even the country’s smartest spies need to look outside for help, as was the case with a fake “Monopoly” board game developed during World War II.
Though Monopoly is famously produced by Parker Brothers in the United States, a company named John Waddington LTD actually owned the rights to produce the game in the UK during the 1940s. It was during this time that the company actually partnered with M19, a secret branch of the British government, to create a fake version of the classic game to help POWS and resistance members across Europe.
The board game initially appeared to just be another variant of “Monopoly” that we all know and love. Digging a little deeper, however, revealed everything from maps to files to compasses disguised as playing pieces and so much more! They were even able to hide real gold and German currency inside, helping to not only free POWs from their captors but to also assist them in getting to safety once they were on the run.