5 New-Tech Items I Like

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1. The iStun: In Once a Spy, which I wrote in 2008, a spy uses a million-volt stun gun that’s disguised as an iPhone. When the book was published in 2010, readers thought the device stretched credulity. Today not only are such devices available online for $35, they have 3.8 million volts.

2. Flying cars: Below, the innovative Audi Shark flying car, winner of the World Auto Design Contest. All it lacks is the technology to make it fly.

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 But the tech isn’t far off. In fact it’s been around almost as long as the non-flying car. Shown here is Jess Dixon’s Flying Automobile, from 1940 (flew fine, but didn’t catch on because of insufficient hat room).
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3. Drones: A CIA officer in Once a Spy deployed a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (a.k.a. drone) that in real life could be seen only on drawing boards, at least in declassified circles. In 2009, a German company offered a similar drone to anyone with $40,000. In 2011, I bought a comparable French drone for $300 at a Brookstone (the Parrot AR, shown below delivering a newspaper).
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Below is my favorite, the Harop UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), which, come to think of it, may be classified. Please don’t mention you saw it here.

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4. The elephantmobile. It’s gonna be this or another Prius for us.

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5. NSA flash drive. This isn’t really new tech. And I don’t particularly like mine—I haven’t even used it, and don’t plan to. The bidding is now open…

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Keith Thomson

Keith Thomson played semi-pro baseball in France and drew editorial cartoons for New York Newsday before becoming a writer. His novels include the New York Times Best-Selling ONCE A SPY and TWICE A SPY.  His latest, 7 GRAMS OF LEAD, is available now. He lives in Alabama.