According to Standford and NVidia researchers, VR adoption is slowed by the bulky headsets required. They want to offer a slim solution. A SIGGRAPH paper earlier this year lays out their plan or you can watch the video below. There’s also a second video, also below, covers some technical questions and answers.
The traditional headset has a display right in front of your eyes. Special lenses can make them skinnier, but this new method provides displays that can be a few millimeters thick. The technology seems pretty intense and appears to create a hologram at different apparent places using a laser, a geometric phase lens, and a pupil-replicating waveguide.
The original method uses a beam splitter to divert light to the eye, but the novel part of this is the use of a waveguide instead of the beamsplitter. Of course, there are drawbacks, many of which you can mitigate using techniques discussed in the paper and video.
Of course, these are a long way from practical, although there are some small glasses that have giant ribbon cables that would get you some raised eyebrows. In fact, they look like comically raised eyebrows themselves.
If you want to build it yourself, you might be better off with something more traditional. We will admit, though, to being fascinated with the whole idea of holograms.