This goes back to the Nerdist Podcast interview that was recorded last September. At 30:30 into the track, Gabe Newell briefly mentioned a Michael Abrash project called "Vortex", but there was no information on the technology. Our best guess is that it involved augmented/virtual reality because Abrash has been busy working on that technology at Valve. But, maybe the Vortex is this...
The term refers to the spiral shape of some copper wiring found on a pair of LCD contact lenses. That's right; LCD contact lenses.
Ben Krasnow, a mechanical & electrical engineer at Valve, posted a video to his Youtube in 2011 that shows him demoing a prototype pair of LCD contact lenses. And if you look closely, there's a very cool vortex-like spiral on the eye. This technology is good for augmented reality because it allows video to be beamed directly to your optical nerve, making for one very immersive experience.
Ask Yanis Varoufakis, economist-in-resident at Valve, because he recently had the opportunity to demo this futuristic technology, and he shared his experience in a Greek paper Lifo. [EDIT: Some are suggesting that this article could possible be a fiction.] "Despite the fact I could see the technician moving [the virtual character] around with small adjustments to her console, his presence was absolutely real to me," he said. "His every step not only seemed, but sounded real (obviously, through stereoscopic speakers that gave the necessary depth to the sounds he made), his breath as well, even the sounds he made as he dragged his clawed hand against the wall, making my hair stand on end."