5 Incredible Women Who Shaped Technology As We Know It Today

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Marie Curie put it so well: “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

And so it is with inventions, and moreso with women throughout history, including in recent years. Oftentimes groundbreaking work often goes unnoticed during the lifetime of inventors, or else is snapped up and repackaged by someone else who claims the glory.

Today The Good Human wants to highlight the outstanding acheivements and contributions of five remarkable women who changed the face of technology in various fields. Some are well known, others less so. But all of them deserve to be on this list – which I must admit was difficult to reduce down to merely five.

So please feel free to comment below and add any other names that you think are worthy of a mention. I am sure we will wholeheartedly agree with you. For now, let’s look at five of the women who have made a positive impact on society with their work.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr was born on 9th November 1914, and shot to fame as an actress, frequently gracing the silver screen. Lesser known is her work on a secret ccommunications system, which supported allied troops during World War 2. She was spurred into action to help with the developments in Europe after finding out that her husband had sold munitions to the Nazis.

Pairing up with George Anthill (also a pianist) she developed an unbreakable code, which manipulated radio frequency at irregular intervals between transmission and reception.

The technology that they discovered was used on Naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as many other military operations. While this is an enormous achievement in itself, outside of the military usage, we are also benefitting from their work today.

The technology, known as Spread spectrum is a highly efficient way of using radio waves to communicate.  Enabling many users to share radio frequencies concurrently, without interfering with each other. This is a huge change from the current, expensive way of using specific frequencies for individual use (radio stations and police contact for example). Spread spectrum has boosted digital communications, making wireless contact possible in cellular phones and fax machines for example.

Spread spectrum is a form of wireless communications in which the frequency of the transmitted signal is deliberately varied. This results in a much greater bandwidth than the signal would have if its frequency were not varied. ~ Search Networking.com

Lamar died in 2000 aged 85, and so was able to witness the growing significance of her invention. She was awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award and was the first female to receive the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, (also known as “The Oscar™ of Inventing.”)

Ada Byron

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