JR Hildebrand

The IndyCar rulebook is a land of tight technical restraints. Paradoxically though, the paddock is developing into a wellspring of potentially game-changing technical and engineering innovations. In this third in our series, RACERtakes a look at some of the groundbreaking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs being developed within IndyCar's orbit.

JR Hildebrand reaches into a black backpack and pulls out a Samsung smartphone and a virtual reality kit. And in that simple act, he shows how far immersive technology has come over the past few years.

Virtual reality is on the verge of becoming the next technological achievement to make the transition from bad 1980s sci-fi films to suburban living rooms.

Industry leader Oculus – which was bought by Facebook for $2 billion two years ago – has just started taking pre-orders on its much-anticipated Rift VR system, which will feature a virtual reality headset with microphone and speakers, along with Xbox One sensor and controller compatibility. For $599, you can have a world-class VR system hooked up to your computer at home - provided that your PC is powerful enough to handle the graphics.

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