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Linksys Revs Up Petersen Automotive Museum



Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the largest automotive museums in the world—boasting 25 new galleries and over 300 vehicles. Founded in 1994, the non-profit organization specializes in automobile history and education. The modern museum is home to several iconic cars, including the 1992 Batmobile from Batman Returns and what is perhaps the most sought after car in the world: James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from the 2012 film, Skyfall.

The museum is appropriately located along the first car-oriented American street—Wilshire Boulevard on Museum Row in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, where dedicated left-turn lanes and timed traffic street lights originated in the early 1920s. However, the otherwise idealistic setting was not always capable of supporting numerous devices at once. The historic nature of the 1960s lower level made it ill-equipped to take on modern-day digitalization needs.

Citing its record-speed delivery and high-performance products, Petersen approached Linksys with a networking challenge. Before long, the reconceptualized museum became a reality—supporting more screens, lights, cameras, and speakers, faster and more secure than ever before.

The Challenge

Looking to build a new, highly interactive environment that would increase foot traffic and engagement, Petersen Automotive Museum needed a stronger networking backbone that could support their ambitious vision for all 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. This new setup would open up exciting customization and flexibility possibilities that would elevate not only the new exhibits, but also the entire museum experience.

Petersen’s server room was outfitted with several Linksys switches to provide a stronger networking backbone for their new digital experiences.


The Solution

After its transformative renovation was completed, Petersen’s digital experiences and offerings were as eye-catching as their cars. The seven screens were replaced with hundreds. Flat screens became touchscreen drafting boards, interactive games, and projected videos. And speakers powered by Linksys Smart PoE+ Switches helped enhance the experience, revving up exhibit engagement and making them more life-like and immersive.

From the lobby to the upper levels, Petersen became almost unrecognizable in its interactive transformation. Beginning at the entrance, the circular lobby was outfitted with an interactive vertical wall, creating a self-service check-in station where customers could purchase tickets from provided iPads—all while admiring the captivating wall projections around them. The dedicated Disney-sponsored Mechanical Institute on the second floor was updated with engaging models demonstrating how brakes, suspension, drivetrain, and ignition and electrical systems work, enhanced with interactive scavenger hunts involving touchscreen checkpoints. The 3D map of California on the third floor became the grand finale. Connected to Linksys PoE+ switches, these high-bandwidth capabilities require no additional power, allowing them to run independently, morning to night.

“Linksys switches are what powers this place, and Belkin cables keep it all connected,” said Petersen Automotive Museum IT director Alex Rosales. “Every screen, projector, and light in here is connected using Belkin cables and Linksys switches. Both give us more control of the environment and allow us to customize to our needs. For a museum of our size, that’s essential. I’m now able to easily add and swap exhibit equipment and alter lighting to increase excitement and enhance the visitor experience.”

Every light and speaker throughout the museum has its own IP address, allowing the museum to easily adjust brightness or volume to match the design and mood of certain areas according to changing exhibit styles and preferences. Meanwhile, critical internal devices, such as security cameras, benefit from the extra protection provided by Linksys Smart PoE+ Switches and Belkin Cat5e Patch Cables.


Conclusion

Future-proofing their facility with advanced Linksys networking equipment connected via Belkin cables helped Petersen Automotive Museum drastically improved overall digital capabilities throughout the building. Supported by a robust networking backbone, they were able to bring to life the immersive, experiential environment they envisioned. The upgrade made it possible for the museum to incorporate the customizable digital displays and interactive activities needed to engage and entertain a modern audience just outside of the entertainment capital of the world. Today, the Linksys and Belkin equipment continues to drive the automotive museum in new, more digitally-minded directions.