She was known as “The Most Beautiful Woman in Film,” but Hedy Lamarr was more than just a pretty face she had a brilliant mind and created several inventions, one of which we can't live without today. The Austrian American actress made her mark in Hollywood during MGM's "Golden Age." However, at the height of her acting career, she created a 'frequency hopping' technique that would go virtually unrecognized and unutilized for more than 5 decades. We call it Wi-Fi today!


Lamarr, was also an inventor. She enlisted the assistance of avant-garde composer George Anthiel to develop an early spread spectrum communications technique to help defeat the Nazis during World War II. They called it the "Secret Communication System." Its function was to disguise radio transmissions, so enemies couldn't decode our messages, by making the signal jump from channel to channel in a prearranged pattern. She patented her invention in 1942, and it was the first of many!

They shared their invention with the U.S. Navy, but incredibly it was ignored! It wasn't until 1997 that her communication technology was recognized. In fact, Lamarr and Antheil were honored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award, for developing the precursor to wireless technologies including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

If you use a smartphone or Bluetooth earbuds, you can thank Hedy Lamarr!

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