Google Doodle Honors Hedy Lamarr For Her Engineering Smarts

Nov 09, 2015

In honor of what would have been Hedy Lamarr's 101st birthday, Google has devoted its latest Doodle to the Hollywood siren, billed as the most beautiful woman in the world, who less famously helped devise what is now called spread-spectrum technology that shifts transmissions between different radio frequency bands to enable secure wireless communication.

Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Marie Kiesler in 1914 Austria, left Europe and an unhappy marriage to an Austrian munitions maker for Hollywood film work just before World War II. More to the point here, she also teamed up with her neighbor, composer George Anthiel, to develop radio frequency-hopping transmission technology that could be used to throw radio-controlled torpedoes off course.

Together she and Anthiel developed and received a patent on the technology that was later used to secure sensitive U.S. communications during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and became the basis for technology used for all manner of wireless communications.

In 1997, she and Anthiel were honored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award. Lamarr died in 2000; Anthiel in 1959.

This story is so compelling it's amazing that there has been no movie made about it thus far. (Hint, hint.)

Check out the (goog) Google Doodle below.

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