Hedy Lamarr | Actor and inventor of World War II

Hedy Lamarr was born as Hedwig Eva Maria Keithler, a Hollywood movie star, and has starred in dozens of films, especially famous ones. Algiers, Released in 1938, Samson and Delilah, 1949. In addition to her acting career, she was also the inventor, working on everything from the shape of the wings of an aircraft to the flavor of soluble drinks.

Most of her inventions weren’t widely used, but in the 1940s, she wanted to create something that would help the Allies fight the Nazis as part of World War II. Born into an Austrian Jewish family, Lamar was annexed by Germany in 1938.

Lamarr has worked with composer George Antheil to develop a new way to steer torpedoes. She had already discovered that the radio signals used to control torpedoes could be blocked by the Nazis and miss targets, and wanted to come up with an alternative that could not be blocked.

The pair settled on a system that randomly switches to different radio frequencies to avoid interference known as frequency hopping (FH) spread spectrum communication. This was controlled by Antheil’s piano player mechanism. That is, the system was able to switch between one of 88 different frequencies for each of the 88 black and white keys on the piano.

It is often said that this patent means that Lamar helped the invention. WifiBut the story is more complicated than that. Lamarr and Antheil patented the invention in 1942, but were classified until 1981, during which time they were only used in military technology such as sonar and satellite communications.

Other spread spectrum technologies were invented independently before the patent was declassified. This includes direct sequence (DS) spread spectrum, which spreads the signal over the entire frequency range, rather than hopping one at a time.

When the Wi-Fi standard was first defined in 1997, both FH and DS systems were allowed, but DS soon became the main system and FH Wi-Fi devices are no longer in use. Hmm. That’s why Lamar invented the concept of spread spectrum communication, but the direct line to Wi-Fi is ambiguous. However, the Bluetooth standard used to connect devices over short distances uses FH, and it is clear that the inventions of Lamarr and Antheil had a major impact on the process of communication technology.

Important facts

full name: Hedwig Eva Maria Keithler

birth: November 9, 1914, Vienna

Died: January 19, 2000, Casselberry, Florida

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actor and inventor famous for developing the forms of wireless communication that are still in use today. Hedy Lamarr | Actor and inventor of World War II

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