How Hedy Lamarr and avant garde music are linked to GPS…


Now here’s something you might not know about Hedy Lamarr…and GPS

The great Hollywood star – whose sensual early film Exstase caused such a furore – was the co-inventor of a ground-breaking radio technology on which GPS relies.

Together with Georges Antheil – the avant garde French composer – she dreamt up during World War II a new and secure way of transmitting guidance signals to torpedoes.   It was, bizarrely, inspired in part by Antheil’s work with the artist Fernand Léger on his famous Ballet Méchanique of 1924.

Highly resistant to interference or jamming, the frequency-hopping ‘spread-spectrum’ signal structure that Lamarr and Antheil co-invented (and patented) was not adopted at the time.  But a version is now used in many different applications – including GPS.

A hell of a lot more than a pretty face!  And why should anyone be surprised?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s