Without a doubt one of the greatest elements of a James Bond film is not Bond himself, it’s Q. There’s simply no better supporting character than the lab coat wearing tech mastermind who rolls his eyes at Bond’s brooding force, knowing that his instruments, often the size of a microchip can have greater effect. At least in his mind. In pure James Bond fashion, the UK have developed a brand new passport, to be issued from December onward and my goodness it’s got some Mi6 level features…

a passport with a picture of a man

Self destructing passport pages? You can’t be serious! Oh but it’s true. The nature of “Top Secret” information is that it doesn’t appear on blogs such as this one (usually), but that didn’t stop the UK from sharing some of the trade secrets they’re particularly proud of. On certain pages of the new passport, any attempt at alteration will cause “irreparable damage” rendering the passport useless and invalid. It’s easy to take a photo, but I can’t imagine that it’s easy to make a photo of yourself using shapes from the letters and numbers that comprise your name and birthday. Just like a great puzzle, the second page features an additional photo of the passport bearer made out of these unique shapes. Try that! If that’s not Bond enough, on top of the usual special holograms, the passport features an extremely rare gemini ink which show up as a solid color to the eye, but under UV light appear as two different colors. For all you conspiracy theorists, there are plenty of elements to be seen, or not to be seen. On every page of the passport you’ll find a 3D watermark of William Shakespeare along with iconic London landmarks and historical figures, some of which are only available in certain light or angle.  

a train going through a city

Clearing immigration is by far the worst part of international travel, especially after a long flight. A major issue behind most delays in every country is establishing the authenticity and identity of each and every traveler passing through. Increased security and “smart” documents such as this one, featuring technology the government can’t even disclose will help vet travelers in a timely manor and help push us out the airport and into the hotel bar. I can tell you which I prefer. Pretty neat that Her Majesty’s Passport Office embraced their inner “Q”. 

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Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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