Today Google is celebrating the 101st birthday of Hedy Lamarr with a Google Doodle a little video on their search engine. Hedy Lamar was famous Austrian and American film actress in Hollywood from the late 30's to the 50's she appeared in numerous popular feature films. Developing an interest in applied science and bored by her acting career she utilised this knowledge as an inventor. At the commencement of World War 2, keen to aid the Allied war effort, she identified jamming of Allied radio communications as a particular problem. And with composer George Antell, developed spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat it.
Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil discussed the fact that radio-controlled torpedoes, while important in the naval war, could easily be jammed by broadcasting interference at the frequency of the control signal, causing the torpedo to go off course. They developed the idea of using frequency hopping to avoid jamming. This was achieved by using a piano roll to unpredictably change the signal sent between a control center and the torpedo at short bursts within a range of 88 frequencies in the radio-frequency spectrum (there are 88 black and white keys on a piano keyboard), a U.S. Patent 2,292,387 was granted on 11 August 1942 to Hedy Kiesler Markey, Lamarr's married name at the time, and George Antheil. Though the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s, the principles of their work are now incorporated into modern Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology, and this work led to Hedy Lamarr being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
Google Doodle of Hedy Lamarr from youtube