Why You Should Thank This Hollywood Actress for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Monday, November 9, 2015
Take a look at the interesting life of Hollywood actess, Hedy Lamarr, and her role in paving the way for Bluetooth and other wireless technology.
Today's Google Doodle pays tribute to a talented actress on her 101st birthday whose life proved to be full of surprises. Hedy Lamarr would have turned 101 today and, looking back on her life, it's no surprise that Google would choose to honor her with this animated video.
Let's take a look at her life to see why we should thank her for the very technology that has transformed our day-to-day lives, even the way we lock our homes.
According to hedylamarr.com, Hedy Lamarr was born in Austria and began her film career at seventeen years old. After gaining much attention for her controversial roles, she moved to Hollywood in 1938 where she starred in several films alongside actors like Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. Dubbed one of the most beautiful women in the world, Hedy didn’t feel challenged enough by her career in film making and sought to do much more with her life. She once famously stated, "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."
According to a 2011 NPR interview with Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Hedy was not your typical Hollywood actress.
"Hedy didn't drink. She didn't like to party," he says. "Her idea of a good evening was a quiet dinner party with some intelligent friends where they could discuss ideas — which sounds so un-Hollywood, but Hedy had to find something else to do to occupy her time."
During World War II, Hedy decided to use her ideas to help the war efforts. She had a special interest in science and military technology and used that interest to create a secret communication system to overcome the jamming of Allied radio transmissions by Axis powers. According to CNN, "she teamed with composer George Antheil, a neighbor, to create a frequency-hopping system -- based on the 88 keys in pianos -- that would keep enemies from being able to detect the radio messages." This system became the basis for modern wireless communication, paving the way for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and more.
To learn more about Hedy Lamarr's fascinating life and history, be sure to check out her official website.