Monday, February 15, 2016

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr – Pioneer in Field of Wireless Communication

Hedy Lamarr, one of Hollywood’s original film stars, was more than a beautiful face for the silver screen. Though she was better known for the silver screen, Hedy Lamarr also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communication after her emigration to the United States. Her interest in applied science led to the development of technologies which brought about the groundwork for Wi-Fi, CDMA as well as Bluetooth.

The international beauty icon together with co-inventor George Anthiel created a `Secret Communication System’ in helping to fight the Nazis in World War II. By deploying radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention took shape into an unbreakable code in preventing classified messages from being intercepted by the enemy personnel.

In 1941, Lamarr and Anthiel had received a patent though the huge significance of their invention had not been realised till decades later. At first, it was implemented on naval ships at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and later appeared in various military applications.

 But most considerably the technology which Lamarr supported in inventing would stimulate the digital communication boom establishing the technical backbone which made the possibility of cellular phones, fax machines together with other wireless operations.

Honoured With Electronic Frontier foundation – EFF Pioneer Award

The original idea was meant to solve the problem of enemies preventing signals from radio-controlled missile at the time of World War II which involved changing radio frequencies while at the same time stop the enemies from identifying the messages.

Though the technology during that time barred the possibility of the idea initially, the arrival of the transistorand later its downsizing had made the idea of Hedy very important both to the military as well as the cell phone industry. If the U.S, Navy had accepted her work earlier, the possibility of the World War II could have ended much earlier.

Lamarr, just like the several famous women inventors had received little recognition of her inventive talent during her time, though recently she has been admired for her ground-breaking invention. She along with George Anthiel had been honoured with the Electronic Frontier foundation – EFF Pioneer Award, in 1997. Thereafter in the same year, Lamarr became the first female beneficiary of the BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, which is a prestigious lifetime accomplishment prize for inventor which is known as `The Oscar of Inventing’.

A True Visionary with Technological Intelligence

To prove that she was more than just a pretty face, she shattered stereotypes, making a place for herself among the most important women inventors of the 20th century and was a true visionary with technological intelligence which was much ahead of its time. Born to Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on November 9, 1914 in Vienna, Austria, she starred in her first film at 17, a German project known as Geld auf der Strase. She continued her film career by working on German as well as Czechoslovakian productions.

The German film Exstase, in 1932, drew the attention of Hollywood producers and she signed a contract with MGM. She entered Hollywood and changed her name to Hedy Lamarr starring in her first Hollywood film, Algiers opposite Charles Boyer in 1938.Her achievement on the impressive technology together with her acting talent and star quality, made her the most beautiful and interesting woman in the film industry.