Author Topic: Hedy Lamarr and tech  (Read 804 times)

SweetPea

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Hedy Lamarr and tech
« on: March 07, 2018, 08:39:28 PM »
This was an item on BBC Breakfast this morning about the film 'Bombshell' - the Hedy Lamarr Story.

Taken from a couple of write-ups on the 'net:

"When Nazi U-Boats torpedo a ship carrying 83 school children during World War II, Hollywood movie star, Hedy Lamarr, decides to exact revenge. At night, after shooting her scenes on set, she works on a secret radio system that will allow the Allies to torpedo Nazi U-Boats with deadly accuracy. Her sketches remain ideas until a chance encounter with an eccentric composer enables her to transform them into useful technology. The secret communication system she creates is ground-breaking and eventually changes the course of history. It would make a terrific fictional film, but this story happens to be true."

"As World War II raged and the Allies found their submarine warfare capabilities less than optimal, Hedy Lamarr came up with an idea to dramatically improve the accuracy of torpedo guidance systems. She further developed the concept—known as frequency hopping—with assistance from her friend, the composer/inventor George Antheil, and they obtained a patent for it in 1942.

Lamarr gave the technology to the U.S. Navy, with the tacit understanding she would be compensated if it were incorporated into weapons systems. She was never paid, although the Navy did begin using the technology at some point after WWII.

The frequency hopping idea became critical in the design of secure communication systems including Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth, according to Nino Amarena, a wireless communications expert who played a consulting role on the documentary. He says companies, including one he worked for in the 1990s, still referred to Lamarr’s work long after her patent had expired.

Frequency hopping spread spectrum—that’s what it’s called, the modulation for Wi-Fi. That frequency hopping came from Hedy Lamarr,” he explains. “So we were actually lifting, so to speak, the entire idea, conceptually and in the implementation, from Hedy Lamarr’s invention.”

I can't find anything to say this was a recent discovery.... so I don't know, but what an interesting find.

The film is in cinemas from tomorrow.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  George Orwell

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Eph 6:12

Maeght

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 09:04:39 PM »
What was a recent discovery?

SweetPea

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2018, 09:17:29 PM »
What was a recent discovery?

Hi Maeght, hope all is well with you. Sorry for not being clear. I meant I wondered if Hedy Lamarr's technology had been hidden for years and if her work was only a recent discovery.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  George Orwell

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Eph 6:12

Nearly Sane

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 09:24:27 PM »
No,it's been used since the time of the invention in various ways. It's the influential though on a lot of more recent developments which needed other advances in place.

Maeght

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 09:30:22 PM »
Hi Maeght, hope all is well with you. Sorry for not being clear. I meant I wondered if Hedy Lamarr's technology had been hidden for years and if her work was only a recent discovery.

Hi,

I believe it wasn't widely known at the time that it was her, as she used her married name on the patent, but don't know when it became public knowledge.

Rhiannon

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 10:11:22 PM »
I had no idea. Cool story.  :)

SusanDoris

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 12:47:50 AM »
I had no idea. Cool story.  :)
It certainly is - very interesting.
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Nearly Sane

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SweetPea

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 08:19:49 PM »
Yes, thanks, Nearly.

The film only seems to be showing in and around London and very few places elsewhere. Anyone interested here is a list of partaking cinemas:

Barbican Centre cinema
Broadway Cinema - Nottingham
Chapter Arts Centre
Picturehouse Central
JW3
HOME
Courtyard Theatre Cinema
Glasgow Film Theatre
Komedia Theatre and Dukes @ Komedia
mac birmingham cinema
National Film Theatre - BFI Southbank
Norden Farm Centre for The Arts
Exeter Phoenix
Phoenix Cinema - Finchley
Curzon Bloomsbury
Rio Cinema
Arthouse Crouch End
Tyneside Cinema
Warwick Arts Centre Cinema
Watershed Cinema
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  George Orwell

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Eph 6:12

Nearly Sane

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Wilkins Micawber

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2019, 07:24:56 AM »
Remarkable story, which |i've read before. I don't know about it making a great fictional film, though; everyone'd say it was too fantastic to be believasble.
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Robbie

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Re: Hedy Lamarr and tech
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2019, 09:30:45 AM »
Agree - truth is often stranger than fiction stevenh.

It could be an interesting film if well cast, the script is written to be quite exciting and showing sympathetic human beings with their flaws, some endearing. Throw in a love interest of course. I'd give it a go.
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