Distributed systems technologies supporting 3D visualization and social collaboration will be increasing in frequency and type over time. An emerging type of head-mounted display referred to as the head-mounted projection display (HMPD) was recently developed that only requires ultralight optics (i.e., less than 8 g per eye) that enables immersive multiuser, mobile augmented reality 3D visualization, as well as remote 3D collaborations. In this paper a review of the development of lightweight HMPD technology is provided, together with insight into what makes this technology timely and so unique. Two novel emerging HMPD-based technologies are then described: a teleportal HMPD (T-HMPD) enabling face-to-face communication and visualization of shared 3D virtual objects, and a mobile HMPD (M-HMPD) designed for outdoor wearable visualization and communication. Finally, the use of HMPD in medical visualization and training, as well as in infospaces, two applications developed in the ODA and MIND labs respectively, are discussed.