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Hedy Lamarr's beauty and screen presence made her one of the most popular actresses of the 1930s and 40s, but many are unaware of her extraordinary genius which led to numerous inventions. Researcher Bill Birnes joins Richard to delve into the technological contributions of Lamarr and how her inventions helped revolutionize modern communications. Some say her inventions are a basis for the Internet, GPS, and are now worth billions.
Birnes described Lamarr as a brilliant woman who was obsessive about her ideas. One such concept outlined spread spectrum technology, also called frequency hopping, for use in a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII. This idea ultimately contributed to the development of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, he revealed. Birnes credited Lamarr with the design of swept wings, which she recommended to Howard Hughes to make his planes more aerodynamic and faster. He reported on one of Lamarr's lesser-known inventions - an instant fizzy soda cube which could be used to make soda anywhere from ordinary tap water.