What kind of technology does Ethan Hunt use in The Kremlin where he projects the image of a statue on transparent film? Is this possible to trace anyone's eyes according what they're seeing in front of them?

What kind of eye lens do they use in where an agent can identify a person and also to make photocopy of codes? Is that kind of lens available in market?

What kind of computer system and pen derive does Ethan use in IMF's special train compartment? How can the computer fetch the pen drive data by just touching it to the screen of the system?

  • J.J Abrams is know to substitute ludicrous technologies for movie plotting. Technologies that render subsequent action scenes meaningless : the mask/voice technology in Mi3 is the only technology one should ever need. Sep 27, 2013 at 11:25
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    Except JJ Abrams only has a producer credit for Ghost Protocol. The movie was directed by Brad Bird, and written by André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum. It's also not just a JJ Abrams thing, as "ludicrous technology" in spy films had been around for a while. I mean James Bond did it LONG before the Mission: Impossible movies started.
    – MattD
    Sep 27, 2013 at 11:37
  • The last question you ask is about transferring data through touching it ... My Samsung Galaxy SIII can do it between it and another equipped device. Sep 28, 2013 at 2:32
  • @MattD well, Ghost protocol doesn't feel like a Brad Bird movie. Unfortunately. Oct 2, 2013 at 19:40
  • @Nameiscarl I'm not really sure what that's supposed to mean. Prior to Ghost Protocol he'd really only been involved with animated films. This was his first live action film. The reason he picked up directing duties was to gain experience doing live action films for future projects he had coming down the pipe (in fact it was Tom Cruise who suggested the collaboration, and Abrams that made it happen).
    – MattD
    Oct 2, 2013 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


As it was already answered by MattD, most of the technologies you ask about doesn't actually exist (as far as the public is aware ;-)). However, I think that most of them are actually possible.

  1. The display thingie is a combination of things that do exist, although such combination is a bit of a stretch.

    It is capable of detecting eyes in the room. For comparison, most digital cameras, including those on smartphones, recognize faces. Red-eye removing software is often capable of detecting eyes. Of course, all of these are not really reliable enough to be trusted with the outcome of the secret mission of breaking in Kremlin, but that doesn't mean that the technologies cannot be improved.

    The next thing it does is display an adapted version of an image, so that it is always a 2D projection adapted to the position of the eyes of the viewer. This part is a bit thin, because normal 3D vision is achieved by eyes receiving two slightly different pictures, but given the simplicity of the scene (an empty hallway), it might be feasible. I'd say it would be quite convincing if the guard wasn't, at moments, staring really intently at the projection, but this kind of exaggeration is the most common element of movie suspense, so we can forgive that.

    It also renders each scene very quickly, as the guard moves. Not really a stretch, since common PCs do that in many modern (and even not so modern) games. This is even simpler, due to the aformentioned simplicity of the scene.

    So, all you need is a perfectly silent mechanism to setup the projection screen, accurate 3D imaging of the environment to prepare the scene (I believe those also exist, although I suspect today's technology is not capable of ignoring two agent's standing in the way of some of the nearer parts of the wall ;-)), and plenty of luck, so that the guard doesn't notice that the scene is actually 2D. You also need a perfect layout of Kremlin, so that you can prepare the screen that will fit the hallway width and height perfectly, and similar minor details which, in my opinion, would be much harder to fix (in real world) than the technology itself.

    Funny, you didn't mention a device which they used in that scene to send the sound (of water dripping) to a distant corner. I have no idea if that exists, nor if it is possible.

  2. The lenses need extreme miniaturization (so that a computer would fit there, without being in the way of the one using such lenses), some way to record the image (this one is beyond today's technology, since we still rely on lenses which need depth between them), some WiFi device, etc. I'm not sure if "a thin layer of glass capable of recording stuff" is physically possible, but I believe the rest is (it may even exist, but it's not on the market).

    The lenses remind a bit of a miniaturized Google Glass, but notice that even Google Glass has a "fat" device (in front of the right eye):

    Google Glass Explorer Edition

    Also, human eye "records" the images by using lenses, so it also needs depth. This is why I find this part the least convincing one.

  3. Sending data by contact is not really a surprise. The technology exists (as Paulster2 wrote in the comments), but the devices have to be compatible. Don't expect to do the trick with a common USB stick, but it is not really weird that a super-duper technologically hyperadvanced agency would have such adapted hardware.

As the others on this topic, I agree that nothing in MI4 should be taken too seriously, as it is an action comedy. However, you did pose an interesting question, especially since the movie industry was full of technological "miracles" almost since the day one, and many of those "miracles" later became a reality (in some form, although rarely exactly as they were envisioned in a movie).


In short: spy movies like the Mission: Impossible series are designed more as action movies to entertain people for a few hours, and not meant to be taken seriously in any way.

Many action films in the spy film genre rely on super high tech that doesn't actually exist. It's designed to show how "advanced" this particular spy or government agency is, and isn't intended to be taken seriously or feasibly at all. Most of the tech shown usually serves as a means of explaining how agents are able to do the things they do in seemingly impossible situations.

Things like the screen they hide behind while infiltrating the Kremlin are just meant to be a cool way to show them sneaking into a high security area, but isn't actually possible, at least not in the manner depicted.

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    It could also be said that Ghost Protocol is an action movie bordering on being sci-fi. The Mission: Impossible franchise (both TV and movies) has always been this way. Does art follow reality or the other way around. Do the gadgets in the James Bond movies exist? Some of them do, but the really cool ones only exist in the minds of the writers and directors. Great stuff ... now somebody actually needs to invent it! Sep 27, 2013 at 12:34
  • I'd liken it to being more of, "Yeah, we could come up with a more feasible way for them to break into the Kremlin, but that would take too much time and might be too boring given the level of action audiences have come to expect." It's like the neuralizers in Men in Black: the only purpose they serve is to provide a simple answer to what is otherwise a complex question.
    – MattD
    Sep 27, 2013 at 13:14
  • How cool would it be, if I could have infiltrated Kremlin, steal the Tsar's throne and return to my peaceful home unharmed :P
    – Mistu4u
    Sep 30, 2013 at 7:23

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