Roland Emmerich’s latest film, Midway, tells the epic story of American pilots and sailors fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II, with an all-star cast including Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, and Mandy Moore. Although World War II might seem like ancient history, a lot of the technologies used during the conflict have shaped the tech we use today.
1. A modern smartphone can fit in your pocket, but the early digital computers, developed during World War II to crack German codes, were so big, you’d be lucky to fit them in a closet.
2. Germany’s V-2 rocket was the original long-range, guided ballistic missile, but the tech involved went on to serve more peaceful purposes, including the rocket systems that carry astronauts, satellites, and more into space.
3. Like most people, you probably remember Hedy Lamarr from her performance in 1939’s Lady of the Tropics, but did you know the actress was also an inventor? She developed a frequency hopping communication system for guiding torpedoes in WWII, which laid the groundwork for the development of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS technology.
4. With the rise of aerial warfare, the militaries of the world developed radar systems to detect incoming air raids, and that technology would later be used for civilian purposes like air traffic control and weather forecasting.
5. Since bomber crews needed to move around the planes during flight, they couldn’t stay tethered to oxygen masks, leading to advances in cabin pressurization that allowed for commercial airlines.
You can catch Midway in theaters November 8. Get your tickets HERE.
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