Ohio State University researchers have developed a way to convert two conventional car window materials into invisible radio antennas that also defrost windshields and help to keep vehicle interiors cool. Eric K. Walton, a senior research scientist, says the developments may help OEMs with the need to install more antennas into new cars.

The multipurpose antennas also can be used to receive radar, cellular phone and global positioning system (GPS) signals, Mr. Walton says. Unlike existing antennas that need to be hidden around the periphery of glass with a black paint strip, one of the new antennae uses transparent metal film imbedded between layers of window glass.

Another experimental antenna uses the wire heating elements already embedded in most rear windows; the system allows AM/FM reception and heating power to pass through the same wires simultaneously.

PPG Industries is sponsoring the Ohio State research.