Shacknews (opens in new tab) posted an interesting story on Friday about Hoxar Inc, which on the surface appears to be a tech start-up promoting a new technology called Blackroom, a holodeck-like “fully immersive experience without physical restriction,” including the need for goggles. “Hoxar has spent years innovating and pushing the boundaries of holographic technology beyond its competitors,” its website (opens in new tab) says. “Now, with the latest Hoxar DPHM Simulators, users can experience a walkable space that feels, smells, and looks like the real thing—or unreal thing, as is usually preferred.”
This is relevant to our interests because, according to the report, a “credible anonymous source” told the site that Hoxar is actually related to a new game being developed by Romero Games (opens in new tab), the studio co-founded by Doom and Quake co-creator John Romero. How exactly they're tied together isn't made clear—anonymous sources often tend not to want to connect too many dots—and the website registration information is private, revealing only that it was registered out of Scottsdale, AZ, also the location of Hoxar HQ.
It's not much to go on, but there is one little spot of information that gives it the unmistakable sheen of legitimacy: “Yes, there may be something to this,” Romero himself tweeted (opens in new tab), adding the #pc and #fps hashtags.
Yes, there may be something to this. #pc #fps https://t.co/vHJgMPOPffApril 15, 2016
He hasn't said anything about it since, and there's nothing on the Hoxar website or Facebook page (opens in new tab) that leap out as obviously game-releated, although everything it promises is all very future-tech, and just a little too post-VR to be the real deal. Probably.
“The Blackroom truly springs to life thanks to Hoxar's unique Predictive Memory Technology (PMT), which analyses the user’s memory and constructs a simulation that is incredibly lifelike, non-predictable and responsive,” it says. “Virtual reality is but a thing of the past, thanks to Blackroom and PMT; this is a new digital reality, available soon from Hoxar, Inc.”
There's also an emphasis on Blackroom's potential military applications that has all the hallmarks of ominous foreshadowing. Clearly something is cooking here: I've emailed Romero Games and Hoxar to ask what's going on, and I'll let you know if I get anything back.