Hedy Lamarr was an Australian-born, American film actress.Lamarr was one of the most popular actresses between the late 1930s and 1950s and she starred in many Hollywood films with popular actors like Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, and Jimmy Stewart. Some of her famous films include Algiers in 1938, I Take This Woman in 1940, Comrade X in 1940), Come Live With Me in 1941, 1941’s Ziegfeld Girl and including the controversial film Ecstasy.
Along with a beautiful face, Lamarr had an inventor’s brain. Her inventions during the Second World War later brought revolutions in the field of mobile communication.
It was actually the idea of Hedy Lamarr to develop a secret communications system which is particularly one that could guide a weapon using a technology called “frequency hopping” so that signal couldn’t be intercepted.
During World War II, Lamarr and her business partner George Antheil drafted designs for a frequency hopping, spread-spectrum technology. According to a new book, Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes, Lamarr and her business partner George Antheil were awarded a patent in 1942 for a “secret communication system” intended for radio-guided torpedoes.
They patented it on 11 August 1942 and gave it to U.S. Navy. But at that time the technology was difficult to implement. So, it languished in the files for decades. Their contribution was awarded only much later in Lamarr’s life. In 1997, they received the EFF Pioneer Award (posthumously for Antheil) for making a notable contribution to computer sciences, while they were also both belatedly entered into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in the year 2014.
Later, this technology was implemented and it became an important part of today’s GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology.