VCS is Highlighting the Most Important Women in Technology

The Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world are not overlooked in their pursuit of innovation. But women have played a significant role in the ongoing evolution of computer technology. So, in an effort to pay homage to these women and contributions to technology, we’re highlighting a group of inventors who brought ideas to life in a very big way.

Hedy Lamarr

Wondering who to thank for your Wi-Fi connection? Although Lamarr may be better known for her silver screen success, the years following her emigration to the United States she developed a “Secret Communications System” to help combat the Axis powers during the World War II.

By inventing spread-spectrum technology, Lamarr conceptualized the idea of frequency hopping, a method used to send radio signals between transmission and reception. Later on, this technology is now the backbone and principle technical component in all wireless communication we use today.

Proving she was more than a Hollywood star, Lamarr earned a place in the Inventors Hall of Fame for her technical acumen which was far ahead of its time.

Marie Van Brittan Brown

While your home security system today may seem pretty advanced. In 1966 it wasn’t even thought of yet. Not until Marie Van Brittan Brown and her partner Albert applied for an invention patent for the first ever closed-circuit television security surveillance system.

This patent later influenced modern security systems we use every day. Her original invention comprised of peepholes, the camera, a display monitor and a two-way microphone. The security system also included a voice component so she could speak to people on the other side of the door.

Brown’s invention is a featured utility today for video monitoring, remote-controlled door lock, alarm triggers and instant messaging to security providers and police.

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer led the development of arguably the greatest technical convention of all time. Google’s 20th employee and first ever female technician at Google. As an expert programmer and business maven, she cemented her success developing products such as Google Maps, Google Earth, Street View and Gmail.

Mayer is universally credited for Google’s overall look and feel to the search engine that some characterize as ” The Google experience”. She was responsible for approving and directing each doodle and flair on Google when holidays approached and much more.

Grace Hopper

Referred to as the Queen of Software by some and Grandma of COBOL by others. Hopper was one of the first humans to communicate with computers. Most famously associated with Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) which is based on an English-language programming she designed back in 1958.

Hopper was a visionary in programming. Before this language existed, computers spoke exclusively in binary code, which was lost in translation when it came to human beings. Hopper was motivated by the fact that the world needed more programmers to easily decipher language from technology and she was right.

Her ideas paved the way for more people to develop a programmer skill set, and the ability to build powerful software we all use today.