Today's Women's History Month offering is the story of Heddy Lamarr.
Heddy Lamarr was a famous and beautiful Hollywood actress, who starred in movies from 1930 to 1989. You may know about Heddy Lamarr as a beautiful actress, but I bet you did not learn in your high school history classes that Heddy Lamarr co-invented (with composer, George Antheil) and patented a secure communications technology. According to Wikipedia, "the principles of their work are arguably incorporated into Bluetooth technology, and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of CDMA and Wi-Fi. This work led to their induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014."Although Heddy Lamarr's patent was awarded in 1942, it took the military until the 1960s, to implement an updated version of her technology:
"During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, which were important in the naval war, could easily be jammed, thereby causing the torpedo to go off course. With the knowledge she had gained about torpedoes from her first husband, she thought of creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system, which they patented, Antheil recalled:
'We began talking about the war, which, in the late summer of 1940, was looking most extremely black. Hedy said that she did not feel very comfortable, sitting there in Hollywood and making lots of money when things were in such a state. She said that she knew a good deal about munitions and various secret weapons ... and that she was thinking seriously of quitting MGM and going to Washington, DC, to offer her services to the newly established Inventors’ Council.'
Their invention was granted a patent on August 11, 1942 (filed using her married name Hedy Kiesler Markey). However, it was technologically difficult to implement, and at that time the U.S. Navy was not receptive to considering inventions coming from outside the military.
In 1962 (at the time of the Cuban missile crisis), an updated version of their design at last appeared on Navy ships. Lamarr and Antheil's work with spread spectrum technology contributed to the development of GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi."
Read more at:https://en.wikipedia.org/...edy_Lamarr