World Telecommunication & Information Society Day

On the World Telecommunication & Information Society Day, the IEEE Italy Section WIE Affinity Group wants to remember a woman who is considered the inventor of technology that is fundamental for mobile and wireless systems, Hedy Lamarr, original name Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler.

She was born in 1914, in Vienna (Austria), and was an American film star. At the beginning of the World War II, in collaboration with the avant-garde composer George Antheil, she developed a radio guidance system that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to minimize the jamming of radio signals. Nowadays, the principles of her work are considered at the basis of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi communications. Although she succeeded in receiving a patent from the U.S. Patent Office, her technology was never used in wartime by US Navy, and she never profited from her invention during her lifetime. Only in 1997, three years before her death, she received a recognition through the ‘Pioneer Award’ from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.