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The Wi-Fi Discovery

Updated on October 22, 2014

Who was the first to discover Wi-Fi?

Ah yes, the wonderful world of Information Technology! I remember as if it was yesterday, I joined the US Air Force in November of 2001 and started my career as an Information/WorkGroup Manager, a.k.a, Administrator/Computer Technician, at least that was what the career title was back then. Well, there I was, entering the world of Computer Electronics, nevertheless, it's suffice it to say, I wouldn't have gained the knowledge and expertise if I hadn't ventured into the wild blue yonder. However, throughout this formidable journey of working with CPU's (Computer Processing Units), Mainframes, Data Processing, Webpages,..etc., there was still something plaguing me. As I sat at my home computer (wireless laptop), during a lightening storm in Oklahoma City, mind you, hastily typing out an e-mail to send to my supervisor before my deadline, I lost connectivity due to a power outage. You can only imagine how upset I was during this impeccable incident. That's when I asked myself the age-old question without introspect, "Who in their right mind would invent something like this?!, Wi-Fi is just a waste!" After the storm passed and the electricity came back on, I composed myself and realized the verbiage that instantaneously came out from my lingering thoughts. So, who did in-fact discovered Wi-Fi?

Well, some might say, Vic Hayes. Ah Yes, the man who is also known as "the father of Wi-Fi". But, as Mery Bellis, wrote in her article, "Who Invented Wi-Fi" stated, "he chaired the IEEE committee that created the 802.11 standard in 1997. Before the public even heard of WiFi, Vic Hayes established the standards that would make WiFi feasible." Is he truly the one we should give credit to or is there someone else that might have discovered the idea prior to the year of 1997?

I see some puzzled faces out there, and you may be asking yourself, who is that stunning, beautiful lady in that photo and what does this article have to do anything about her? Well, she is no other than, the most famous and successful actress of her time, Hedy Lamarr. She is well known for, of course, starring in classic movies, such as, "Boom Town", "Ziegfeld Girl", "White Cargo", "The Conspirators", and "Samson and Delilah" to name a few. However, little is known about her incredible and magnificent intelligence in which was ignored and not given credit where credit was due not until the later years.

Hedy Lamarr At Work

Without any background in Science Education or Computer Technology, she discovered an idea that would then lead to the genius means of network communication without the use of wires in which we use today as the Local Area Wireless Technology, also known as, Wi-Fi. Who would have thought a movie actress would be the precursor and inventor of our Bluetooth capabilities and GPS/Cellular Network technologies?

During World War II, a time of destruction, tribulation, and total chaos, George Antheil, composer of Ballet Mecanique & inventor of automated control using musical instruments, and Hedy Lamarr decided to work together in attempts to take control of the radio-controlled torpedoes, weapons used for naval war, and set them off-course in order to prevent our U.S. Naval ships from getting obliterated.

Before her death on January 19, 2000, Scientific Societies acknowledged her with an honorary recognition and endorsed her as being the most prestigious & talented inventor throughout our history.

On a happier note, in 2014, Hedy Lamarr and composer, George Antheil, were both finally inducted into the Inventor's Hall of Fame. That's better late than never in my opinion.

With that said, I leave you now with a quote by Hedy Lamarr, “The world isn’t getting any easier. With all these new inventions I believe that people are hurried more and pushed more…The hurried way is not the right way; you need time for everything – time to work, time to play, time to rest.” I couldn't agree with her more.

Here is an excellent documentary I found on YouTube exemplifying her inventions, skills and attributes: Hedy Lamarr Movie star, Inventor of WiFi

Hedy's Folly - The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

After reading this book, I have to thank the author, Richard Rhodes, for spreading the news, facts, and insight of how Hedy gained ground with adversity and persistence. Hedy Lamarr is a legendary legacy proving that you can follow your true passion no matter where you are in life and to pursue your dreams while proving the naysayers wrong.


© 2014 Angie-Marie Delsante

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    • angiemarieledger9 profile image

      Angie-Marie Delsante 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank You Virginia, you can't even imagine what goes through my mind sometimes; that's mostly the reason why I write in my journal every morning; thoughts and ideas always seem to be creeping up out of nowhere which leads me to writing them down, if not, I have a tendency of forgetting lol.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      You have an inquiring mind. It never occurred to me to search out the inventor.