To celebrate International Women's Day 2017, we take a look back at (and recreate in virtual reality) four of the women that VR and vTime are heavily indebted to. Four women who were without doubt bold for change.
What do a Hollywood actress, a Rear Admiral, a mathematician and a software engineer all have in common? In the case of Hedy Lamarr, Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace and Radia Perlman, they would all go on to make technological advances that paved the way for virtual reality.
Mention the name Hedy Lamarr, and your mind immediately conjures up the iconic beauty best known for her achievements on the silver screen, But few know that she also patented Spread Spectrum Technology - a secret communication system that would later form the backbone of WI-FI and Bluetooth technologies.
Ada Lovelace, daughter of esteemed poet Lord Byron, was a mathematical wizard. Ada spent years corresponding with the great Charles Babbage, inventor of the Analytical Engine - widely considered to be the first mechanical computer. She later translated an article written on the machine, but supplemented the translation with pages of her own writing. Her notes went above and beyond a simple translation, and history now now points to them as the first computer programme. The most incredible thing about Ada's work, was that her ideas were so far ahead of their time that it took nearly a century for technology to catch up.
Grace Hopper too was a force to be reckoned with. Nicknamed 'Amazing Grace', she was one of the first programers to work on the Harvard Mark 1 computer. He greatest contribution was her invention of the first compiler for a programming language. This led on to the creation of one of the first high level programming languages, COBOL - still widely used around the world today. On top of that she also found the time to rise to the ranks of rear admiral. All in a day's work for Amazing Grace Hopper.
Radia Perlman is the only one of our selection of incredible women who's still with us. A software designer and network engineer, Radia has been christened 'mother of the internet', though it's a title she shies away from. Radia developed the algorithm behind spanning-tree protocol, a process central to the operation of network bridges, and an imprtant contribution to the underlying infrastructure of the internet.
We made these four inspirational women in vTime to create our ultimate international Women's Day meet-up, and of course had them hanging out in space for good measure. They helped to make the impossible possible, by laughing in the face of gender stereotypes, and allowing their intellect to roam free. Ladies, we salute you.