We’re yet another small team working out of a ‘garage’, trying to build and fix something. Who we are isn't really interesting. What matters is what we're fighting for.
For those of you don’t know who she is, her name is Hedy Lamarr. Until recently, most people just think of her as some glamorous starlet in Hollywood’s golden age; but she’s more than that. During WWII, she wanted to do all she can to help the war effort. Working with George Antheil, she developed one of the earliest methods for frequency hopping, a secure method for transmitting data. Unfortunately no one took her seriously and it was ignored. Instead they asked the woman "who was too beautiful to speak" to help sell war bonds. She oblidged by 'selling kisses'. Her war bond marketing campaign netted the modern equivalent of 220 million dollars, accounting for inflation.
Decades pass and eventually, she just gave up. She stopped trying to convince people that she was more than a pretty face. With proof that society didn’t value her strong intellect, she later became obsessed with maintaining her aging physical beauty with one botched cosmetic surgery after another. In her twilight years, she was so deformed that she rarely left her home and she has a quiet death.
Hedy’s work serves as one of the foundations of the information age, for technologies such as GPS, bluetooth, WiFi, CDMA based cellular networks, and so on. Yet she didn’t get the recognition she deserved until after her death. It’s a travesty that we aim to fix. Though we may fall short in the beginning, making mistake after mistake; our goal is to ensure that what happened to Hedy Lamarr never happens to anyone else. We know that we’re far from that goal, and we’re not even sure if other people feel the same way, but we’re hoping that like-minded people will join our cause in one way or another.
photo attribution: (public domain) Clarence Bull