Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Inventor

Hedy Lamarr was an actress and inventor known as the “mother of Wi-Fi” Born in Austria as Hedwig Kiesler, she acted in German films and married an arms dealer supplying the Nazis. She fled to the U.S. and became a Hollywood star. While she had no formal training, she teamed up with composer George Antheil to develop a communication system that was able to guide torpedoes. The system used “frequency hopping” which prevented enemies from intercepting and jamming the remote guidance. Their invention was patented in 1942, however, the U.S. Navy was skeptical and did not adopt their design until 1957 and she was not recognized for her contributions until 1997. This technology was the basis for GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology.

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