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Hedy Lamarr, the actress who invented the WI-FI

2017-09-22
Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr, was an Austrian and American actress. But also, she was the mind who took the first steps in the development of Wi-Fi technology.

She began her acting career in the late 1920s in Berlin and a few years later she got her first role in the controversial film “Ecstasy” by Gustav Machatý. At the same time and pressured by her parents, she married an Austrian military arms merchant who was obsessed with her and the movie. He had a close connection with Mussolini and Hitler´s regimes, even though the couples fathers were both Jewish.

Lamarr joined her husband on business meetings, where she met scientists and military technology experts. This was her introduction to the field of applied science, and she used her intelligence to really make the most out of this encounters. Her extremely controlling husband did not allow her to even leave the castle where they lived, so she used this time to study engineering.

Feeling like a prisoner in her marriage, she run away to Paris in 1937 and later to Hollywood, where she resumed her acting career promoted as the “World´s Most Beautiful Woman”.

During her time in America, she offered to the American government all the information she knew regarding the Nazi regime. She had knowledge that radio-controlled torpedos could easily be jammed!

And so, she came up with the idea to create a device that could be able to create a frequency-hopping signal in order to make the torpedos harder to detect. She contacted her friend the composer George Antheil and both succeeded on the creation of a “Secret Communication System” as is it called on the U.S patent register.

Her work with frequency-hopping set the basis for today's Wi-Fi technology.

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