From cloaked alien tanks and jets in the computer game "Starcraft" to a transparent flying fortress in the movie "Avengers," invisible structures have always been considered a product of imaginary science, whose rightful place is within the boundaries of fiction.
That is until South Korea recently authorized the construction of "Tower Infinity," a 450-meter-high skyscraper which is to use high-tech projectors to make it appear as if the building is not really there.
The glass tower, backed by the Korea Land & Housing Corporation, is to be erected in South Korea's main gateway city of Incheon, on the outskirts of Incheon International Airport. The project is still in the very early stages of development, according to a KLHC official.
"The contractor (for the project) has not been decided yet," the official said, adding that only the basic concept design of Tower Infinity had been confirmed.
The basic layout of the tower was designed by a consortium of Samwoo Architects & Engineers, ANU Design Group and US-based GDS Architects.
The working design and specific dates for construction of the tower have not been set, the official said.
If constructed as originally designed, it will be the sixth-tallest tower in the world behind Tokyo SkyTree, Guangzhou's CantonTower, Toronto's CN Tower, Moscow's Ostankino Tower and Shanghai's Oriental Pearl.
The main feature of Tower Infinity, however, is not its height, but its unique camouflage system that combines the usage of cameras and LED panels to make the building virtually "invisible."
Multiple cameras placed at three different heights on six different sides of the building will capture real-time images of the surroundings. The images will then be projected on LED screens on other sections of the building.
The images will be altered to create panoramic visuals to elude the eyes of beholders.
"Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world's tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the world's first invisible tower," Charles Wee, design principal of GDS, said in a statement.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)