The ‘Q’ Factor – Gadgets or Game Changers?

007 came to Melbourne for a few months in the form of the Designing 007 exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. Over the years Operative Q has provided Bond with all manner of technology and gadgets to help him in his fight against evil. Many of these were on display at the exhibition in the form of weapons hidden in everything from pens to Aston Martin cars. But the most interesting Bond related technology was not any of the gadgets from Q, it was the 3D printing technology that had created the three, one-third scale models of Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 used in the film Skyfall.

Aston Martin DB5 prices have now soared into the stratosphere and the destruction of a DB5 would be deemed sacrilegious as well as eye wateringly expensive. So the Pinewood Studios company propshop Modelmakers commissioned German company voxeljet to make three plastic models of the DB5 using their 3D printing technology. The resulting models are very realistic, they were used (and one was destroyed in the firefight) in Skyfall.

3D printing is just one of several recent technological developments that will impact business in the coming years: private drones; quantum computing; gesture control systems; and wearable computing are just some of the other recent game-changing developments. CEOs need to be aware of what is coming out of the Q type laboratories around the world. They have to be able to understand, not necessarily the technology itself, but how its application might benefit or threaten their companies. Once a CEO has got her head around a technology that might impact her company she is then faced with the challenge of how her company is going to obtain the workplace skills needed to manage, apply and/or develop the new technologies.

We used to laugh when we saw the Bond gadgets, but reality is now way ahead of fantasy and we have to ensure that we are the ones using new technologies for the benefit of our companies rather than being laughed at when they are used against us.

Watch a 3D printer in action.

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