History of Wireless: Hedy Lamarr

Published on April 5, 2013

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History of Wireless: Hedy Lamarr

Spread Spectrum Communications Pioneer

Hedy Lamarr in "The Conspirators"

Hedy Lamarr, (November 9, 1913 – January 19, 2000), was an Austrian-American actress who co-invented – with composer George Antheil – an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam.

Lamarr's and Antheil's frequency-hopping idea serves as a basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM used in Wi-Fi® network connections and CDMA used in some cordless and wireless telephones.

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