top of page

From Hollywood to Tech: The Extraordinary Life of Hedy Lamarr

We are continuing our series on overshadowed geniuses who made incredible discoveries that moved civilization forward. Today we focus on Hedy Lamarr and her contributions to communication Technology.

Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood glamour queen known for her sultry looks and captivating on-screen presence, was not just a pretty face. In fact, she was a brilliant inventor who played a crucial role in the development of modern technology, including GPS and WiFi. Unlike other inventors, Lamarr's work was overlooked and undervalued for decades, only recently receiving the recognition it deserved. This is the story of Hedy Lamarr, the woman who helped shape the world we know today.

In the 1940s, she co-developed a frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology that is now considered a precursor to modern wireless communication technologies such as Bluetooth and WiFi. During World War II, Lamarr and Antheil developed technology as a means of helping the Allied forces to communicate more securely. They patented their invention in 1942 and offered it to the U.S. military for free, but it was not initially put into use.

It was not until the 1960s that the military began to utilize frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology, and it was not until the 1980s that the technology was first commercialized. Today, the technology is widely used in a variety of applications, including in military communications, cellular phone systems, and wireless networking.

Lamarr received little recognition for her work during her lifetime, despite her significant technological contributions. Her invention did not receive a patent until 1997, and she was not inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame until 2014.

In recent years, Lamarr's efforts have gotten greater recognition, and she has been hailed as a technological pioneer. She was recognized with a Google Doodle in 2016, and her work has appeared in various publications and documentaries.

While she may be best known for her acting career, her work in the field of technology has had a profound impact on the world we live in today.

Don't miss the rest of our series on overshadowed geniuses who have made incredible discoveries that have advanced civilization. Check out the first post in the series here:


bottom of page