The Inventors: Thanks for the WiFi — Hedy Lamarr!

Hedy-Lamarr-bigBefore home offices and side gigs became staples in our world of work — long before women in STEM became a movement — there have always been remarkable individuals who pondered life’s greatest challenges, nurtured ideas and became inventors. Many of their inventions remain relatively unknown, even as we benefit from their brilliance each and every day.

In fact, many of the inventors are better known for their “day jobs”.

One such individual, is the enduring silver screen actress Hedy Lamarr. Discovered in Paris by MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, she made her American film debut in 1938. (Her luminous co-stars included Clark Gable, James Stewart, Spencer Tracey and Judy Garland.) However, a collaboration with composer George Antheil, proved equally as enduring as her incredible stage presence.

Their invention — a radio guidance system for torpedoes, focused on rapid frequency hopping — and was designed to thwart jamming by Axis powers during World War II.  With a knowledge base of munitions gained from an early marriage, she and Antheil successfully utilized patterns of radio signals (only known to the transmitter and receiver) to improve guidance systems. Remarkably, the principles of their work are now incorporated in current day WiFi and Bluetooth technology.

The pair received a patent in 1942. However, its elements were not widely applied until the 1960s. A play Frequency Hopping told their engaging story, which explains how the fluidity of music and ka nowledge of munitions combined to change the world.

Its always seems that the intersection of two worlds can lead to astounding creations.

Their invention was a game-changer.

Your collaboration could be the the next big thing.

Thanks Hedy.

Your side hustle is one for the history books.

Read more:

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the perfect fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

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