AN ACTRESS AND AN INVENTOR
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress and inventor who came up with the pioneering technology that would one day be used to develop WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth, an essential part of our modern connected world. Lamarr acted in Hollywood in America in the 1930s to the 1950s and was at the time best known for her glamorous appearance in films. However, her other talent - arguably her biggest talent - was in fact, invention. After working on film sets during the day, Lamarr would often spend her spare time in an invention room at her home.
Lamarr worked to come up with various inventions including large scale ones such as a device to block Nazis from jamming torpedo signals as well as smaller scale inventions such as an effervescent Cola Tablet that could be used to make a glass of Cola. Lamarr’s work with collaborator George Antheil to invent frequency hopping is essential for connecting to the internet, navigating the space around us and connecting devices.
Lamarr never made any money from any of her inventions, but was recognised towards the end of her life with a Pioneer award.
Hedy Lamarr was a visionary because the ideas she came up with in the middle of the 20th century were the foundation upon which many of the wireless technologies we now rely on were built. The fact that she was a woman and an actress meant that she was not taken as seriously as her male counterparts, but she nevertheless persisted and was able to leave her mark upon the world.
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