Who Invented Frequency Hopping That Would Lead to Wi Fi?

Until recently, the answer to the question who invented frequency hopping that would lead to wi fi was not known. But thanks to the work of George Antheil and Hedy Lamarr, we now know more about the technology behind wireless networking.

Hedy Lamarr

During World War II, Hedy Lamarr was a well-known Hollywood actress. She was also an inventor and had a lot to say about wireless communications. She invented a frequency hopping signal that would be used in wi fi and Bluetooth. In fact, her idea was so great that it has become one of the most important developments in wireless communications.

Lamarr was born in Austria in 1914. She was married six times and had three children. She died peacefully in Florida on January 19, 2000. Her inventions were never commercialized and she died without compensation for her engineering efforts. In her later years, Lamarr lived in a recluse. She had an autobiography published in her name. She had an interest in the US military.

Before World War II, Hedy Lamarr’s husband was a weapons manufacturer for the Austrian government. At a dinner party, she met composer George Antheil. The two discussed their ideas. Eventually, Antheil came up with a patent for the concept of frequency hopping. The idea was patented in 1942.

In addition to frequency hopping, Lamarr developed a torpedo guidance system. This would allow torpedos to find their target and prevent them from being jammed by German U-boats. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US Navy used the technology to guide torpedoes under water.

She is known for her roles in films such as Sampson and Delilah, Ziegfeld Girl, and Algiers. She was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Her other inventions include a fluorescent dog collar, a tablet that dissolves into a soft drink, and a shower chair. She also invented a better traffic light.

According to Lamarr’s patent, she invented “a device for rapidly switching channels.” The idea of hopping frequencies came from an unlikely source. She may have heard it from an engineer, but she was the first person to think of it. She described it as an example of the “thingamabobs” that people have.

Her work on the “frequency hopping” idea was one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century. She received a Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997 for her inventions. It is estimated that she made a $30 billion contribution to modern technology.

George Antheil

During World War II, Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian actress, and composer George Antheil were collaborating to develop a new type of communication system. It was based on a musical concept, and was dubbed frequency hopping.

The frequency hopping technique is considered an important development in the wireless communications industry. It is a technique in which multiple radio frequencies are transmitted at split-second intervals. As a result, the radio waves carry the same musical sound, but at different frequencies. This method is used in cell phones, GPS, and Wi-Fi. The invention was first used during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but was declassified in the 1970s.

During World War II, the U.S. Navy was having trouble with its radio-controlled torpedoes. The torpedoes could be jammed by an enemy. This made it difficult to sink an enemy ship. Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil worked together to develop a torpedo guidance system based on frequency hopping. They obtained a patent for the invention, but were denied compensation.

It was a strange coincidence that Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil met in 1940, just a few years before World War II. They both had a keen interest in inventing, and knew that a war was looming. They teamed up to develop a new communication system that was more resistant to Axis powers. Their invention was called the Secret Communication System. The purpose was to make it harder for an enemy to decode radio messages.

The Secret Communication System had many components. It included a mechanical player-piano roll, which was designed to keep the torpedo and the transmitter synchronized. Antheil’s experience with sixteen-player pianos helped him with the design.

The secret of frequency hopping was in its ability to switch from frequency to frequency simultaneously. As a result, it was not easy for the enemy to lock on. The joint invention hopped among 88 frequencies, which allowed the torpedoes to be targeted. The Navy refused to accept the technology, and it did not see widespread use until the late 1960s.

Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. The two were also honored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997.


During World War II, the US Army Signal Corps invented the SIGSALY communication system, a secure, uncrackable voice communications system. This system was used for the highest level Allied communications. It is now a little-known part of history. However, its contributions were important for wireless communications. It is the precursor to Wi-Fi. It was developed in secrecy and was kept top secret until the 1980s.

SIGSALY was developed as a solution for high-level communications between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The system scrambled frequencies according to one-time pads. SIGSALY was the first uncrackable secret communication system. It is also the system that pioneered many digital communications concepts.

The basic concept was developed by Hedy Lamarr, a famous Hollywood actress. She and George Antheil worked together to develop frequency hopping. In 1942 they were granted a patent for the frequency hopping method. They were also known for their work in movies and music.

The patent is vague on how it was used. In the end, it appears that the message would be transmitted over a telephone line. It does not explain whether additional carriers would hop frequencies. It is also unclear how the receiving mechanism works.

The system was tested in the late 1950s. It was adapted for Polaris submarines and was installed on U.S.S. Mount McKinley in 1963.

Frequency hopping became a key development in wireless communications. In the 1990s, it was referenced as the technology behind secure wi-fi.

During World War II, most research on spread-spectrum transmission took place in secret. In fact, 90 percent of German electronics engineers were involved in an anti-jamming campaign. In addition, the National Inventors Council vetted ideas for military use. Some of the inventions were classified and some were nearly duplicated.

While frequency hopping was not a new idea, it was not widely used. Until the 1970s, the technology was thought to be cyclical.

Some of the early frequency-hopping systems were believed to be “wobbling.” A perforated telegraph tape was used to control the frequency hopping process. When a telegraph key was pressed, the tape would select a different frequency.

Spread spectrum

During the late 20th century, Hedy Lamarr invented frequency hopping that led to the development of Wi-Fi. Today, her contribution to technology has gained recognition, and her inventions are still being used in wireless communications. Interestingly, she never made any money from her inventions.

She was a beautiful movie star, but her real talent was in inventing signal technologies. She was known for her roles in the 1940s, including Sampson and Delilah, Ziegfeld Girl, and Algiers. She married six times, and died quietly in 2000.

Her invention was a torpedo guidance system based on radio frequency-hopping. She had access to secret intelligence that allowed her to develop a system that would be effective and easy to use. The United States Navy assigned a contractor to work on the project. However, the Navy’s engineers rejected the Sonobuoy, saying it was cumbersome and impractical.

In addition, Lamarr had access to the designs of an Austrian weapons manufacturer. She had also met avant-garde composer George Antheil at a dinner party. When she asked him about the difficulties the Navy faced with radio-controlled torpedoes, Antheil suggested that she recruit him as her co-inventor.

Antheil was thirteen years older than Lamarr. They married in 1942. When their patent was issued, Hedy Kiesler Markey was her maiden name. She and Antheil worked on their invention for several years.

Although their invention did not receive much attention at the time, it is now considered one of the most important developments in wireless communication. In fact, it is part of the basis for Bluetooth and WiFi. In 1997, the Electronic Frontier Foundation honoured Lamarr with a Pioneer Award. The documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story chronicles her life and her inventions.

Hedy Lamarr was born in Vienna, Austria, and died in 2000. She was a silver screen actress, and was married to an Austrian weapons manufacturer. She had three children. She was known for her beauty, and had an autobiography published in her name. She was also a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She was 84 when she received the Pioneer Award.

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