just one more geek in a sea of austin techies

January 23, 2018

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tech #GearGeek

When I recognize an off-the-shelf electronic item in TV or film, I like to verify I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing. When I happen to be able to ID an item I feel like I've somehow validated myself in some small way though I know, in reality, it's all just more useless geeky knowledge crowding my brain.

Why keep that useless knowledge to myself?  Read on to crowd your own brain with some useless tech trivia...

Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." sometimes leverages regular consumer tech as props, both in TV and in the Avengers films.  The current season (season 5) of the TV series catapults the team into the year 2091 but still manages to leverage electronics from 2017. 

Example: a $99 Tascam DR-05 digital audio recorder

The Tascam first appears in season 5 episode 3, though you'd need to be very familiar with the product to ID it from the brief glimpse we see of the unit's back side:

It appears again in episode 4.  This time the unit is even turned on!
(Please tell me which brand of AA batteries lasts until 2091 ?!?)

Finally, in episode 7 of season 5, we get a solid look at the front -- enough to confirm it's a DR-05:

Done.  Don't you feel better knowing that prop was a Tascam DR-05 manufactured in 2017 and sold for $99?  I certainly do. *happy sigh*

I mentioned the Avengers movies also feature some off-the-shelf electronics as props.  One of those props is some tech that I actually own and use:  a Plantronics Discovery 975.

Interesting side note:  my Plantronics 975 was given to me by none other than well-known tech writer John Biggs after he reviewed the unit for a column.  I *think* he even cleaned it after reviewing.  Thanks, John!

The 975 was prominently featured in the movie Captain America: Winter Soldier.  Here are a few samples of the 975 being used as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s preferred high-tech communications device:

Apparently S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are only allowed to wear an earpiece in the right ear. Who knew?

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