The Mother of Wifi

Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler ) was an inventor born on November 9th in Vienna, Austria. She has invented various things such as dissolvable tablets that turned water into soda. Above all, we recognize spread spectrum technology as her most notable invention. Her contributions paved the way for what most people can’t live without today-wifi.

Before the invention of the spread spectrum technology, there was the conventional radio system. This system runs on a constant frequency to deliver messages. However, because it ran on a constant frequency, this system was prone to interference and interception. This was a part of the struggle of the US navy in combatting German forces at sea. The latter oftern interfered with the signals of US torpedos that operated on radio signals. When Lamarr saw this, she developed a technology with the goal of stopping the jamming of radio signals-spread spectrum technology.

The difference between spread spectrum technology and the conventional radio system is that the emitter no longer sends the signals through a constant frequency, but instead changing the frequency from time to time. If it was in use, it would have helped to accomplish the goal of increasing the security of US radio signals and stopping German interference. Although this invention was great, it was undermined at the time of the war. Nevertheless, it has continued to be a basis for modern technology. Today, this technology helps us to increase the security and lessen the jamming of the signals. Furthermore, it has allowed the development of bluetooth and wifi.

The next time we go on our phones to stream videos or text friends we should keep in mind that all of this wouldn’t be possible without Hedy Lamarr’s timeless contributions.

Author’s note:

After hearing about the movie Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, I was shocked by how an inventor’s intelligence was completely undermined because of her beauty and her gender. I’ve then decided to try the Finkbeiner challenge and write my blog about her invention without mentioning her personal life.

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