British Technology Initiative Aims to Develop New Spy Gadgets
Kyle Maxey posted on August 15, 2016 |
(Image courtesy of MoD.)

(Image courtesy of MoD/Animal Dynamics.)

I’ve never been the biggest James Bond fan. Sure, I’ve seen the Connery classics, watched the Brosnan era flicks and even seen a few of the newest movies, but Bond as a whole has never grabbed me.

Before you go off believing that I think the Bond films are pish posh, I can say that I’ve always loved the scenes with Bond and Q, where a series of technological McGuffins are introduced as Bond’s new arsenal.   

Well, in a recent statement, Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has announced a new £800m technological initiative that seems ripped straight from a James Bond film reel.

According the MoD proposal this new initiative will be led by an Innovation and Research Unit (IRIS) that will forecast emerging technological trends and assess what effects those developments will have on Brittan’s security.

With a general idea of the future mapped out, the IRIS team will engage “The best and brightest individuals and companies” asking them to pitch technological solutions to IRIS’s forecast in “Dragon’s Den-style panel”.

IRIS, Dragon’s Den. Does it get more preposterously cloak-and dagger than that?

If a project is accepted, the IRIS team will shepherd the project through completion at a dedicated defense and security accelerator. 

“This new approach will help to keep Britain safe while supporting our economy, with our brightest brains keeping us ahead of our adversaries.” Said Defense secretary Michael Fallon.

(Image courtesy of MoD/University of Birmingham.)

(Image courtesy of MoD/University of Birmingham.)

Though the IRIS-led initiative is just getting off the ground, the MoD has singled out a few of its newest and developing technologies as a harbingers of what might come from IRIS initiative.

First off, the MoD is developing a drone  named Skeeter. Unlike other drones, Skeeter won’t mimic a helicopter or plane. Instead, the micro-machine will take its flight cues from the dragonfly. Equipped with four wings, Skeeter will be nimble and small making it ideal for stealthy intelligence gathering.

Second on the MoD’s upcoming tech list is a quantum gravimeter. Developed in cooperation with the University of Birmingham, the portable machine will use quantum technology and a pair of gravimeters to accurately map tunnel networks and underground bunkers from the surface of the planet.

Not only will this technology make it easier for the military to detect hidden enemy lairs (a seriously James Bond problem) it could also come in handy during natural disasters, where it could be deployed to find survivors trapped amidst the rubble.

The MoD has also ominously suggested that it’s developing “laser weapons to target and defeat aerial threats.”

It really doesn’t get more Bondian than that.

For more on the future of espionage, read about an invisibility cloak functional at the nanoscale.

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