When you use wifi say Thank you to Hedy Lamarr. Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr, "the Angelina Jolie of her day".was also an avid inventor and the person behind advances in communication technology in the 1940s that led to today’s Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
Beautiful Austrian actress was born Hedwig Kiesler in 1914 in Austria as the daughter of a successful banker. Her father would teach young Hedy about all the wonders of the world.
She also learned much from her first husband, rich industrialist Fritz Mandl. He held frequent parties with colleagues, where they discussed recent weapons technologies. While the men were talking freely Hedy took careful notes in her head.
In the late 1930s, Hedy was discovered in Paris by MGM head Louis B.Mayer. Soon she appeared in numerous popular Hollywood films and became quickly one the most highly paid female stars of her generation.
MGM promoted her as the most beautiful woman in the world but Lamar resented how society prioritized beauty over brains. She said "Any girl can be glamorous! All you have to do is stand still and look stupid".
She was a famous Hollywood star who would finish performing on set with Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, and Spencer Tracy, and then go back to her trailer and work on her inventions.
Hedy learned that radio-controlled torpedoes were prone to signal to jam and decides to design the system to combat Nazis in world war II. So she recalled what she’d gleaned from her first husband’s contacts in the 1930s and teamed up with composer George Antheil. To patent a new device that made radio frequencies jump around.
The technology was far ahead of its time, not everyone was convinced it would work. Several times the National inventor's council rejected the idea but in 1942 she received a patent under her married name H.K Markey. Her invention was further implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This technology is now used in GPS devices and wifi connections. Sadly Hedy did not receive the recognition she richly deserved. In her whole life, She possessed the kind of beauty that was haunting - an almost smoldering sensuality, with an exotic accent to match.
Hedy Lamarr, who died in Florida in 2000, is posthumously becoming regarded as the "mother of Wi-Fi."