IWD: Thanks for the WiFi Hedy!

Today is International Women’s Day!  In honour of that, I felt it was a good idea to introduce to you to someone you may have heard of but not for the reason you might think.

Hedy_Lamarr_Publicity_Photo_for_The_Heavenly_Body_1944

Hedy Lamarr c.1944

Ever heard of Hedy Lamarr? Chances are your parents or grandparents might.  She was an Austrian born American film star in the 1930’s and 1940’s.    She is probably best known for her role as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille‘s Samson and Delilah.  

However, she wasn’t just a pretty face – she was a bit of an inventor.  In 1942, she, along with avant-garde composer George Antheil invented and patented a radio guidance system for torpedoes that was resistant to being jammed.

The principles of their design is one of the most important parts of current communications technology including Bluetooth and WiFi.   Their work in those wartime years has become so important now, that in 2014 they were inducted into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame .

So the next time you pop into a coffee shop and take a photo of your coffee and uploaded it on Facebook using their free WiFi – give a thought to Hedy and George.  Without them WiFI just might not exist!

 

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