Museum of Science and Industry Exhibits Come to Life with Immersive Laser Projection

4 min read

Challenge: The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) has always been known for its dynamic, interactive exhibits and is home to numerous one-of-a-kind experiences. To maintain the sense of awe the museum has become known for, MSI knew they needed to utilize the latest AV technology. But technology wasn’t the only factor at play; MSI was also looking for a true technology partner that provided exceptional service and support.

Solution: The museum turned to AVI Systems and Panasonic Professional Imaging & Visual Systems to help provide the technology needed to power both new and permanent exhibits. Together they deployed Panasonic laser projectors throughout the museum, which included the PT-RZ660, PT-RZ670 and the PT-RZ970 projectors.

Result: Utilizing Panasonic’s laser projectors’ built-in technology, reliable performance and installation flexibility, MSI is continuing to push boundaries to bring immersive experiences to life for its guests. Additionally, transitioning from lamp to laser projectors has lowered the cost of ownership and helped the museum realize savings thanks to lowered operational costs and maintenance fees. Together with Panasonic’s unparalleled service and support, MSI is able to maintain the reputation they’ve cultivated over the past 85 years.


Pushing The Limits

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) is one of the largest science museums in the world, home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits. The institution prides itself on the guest experience, where each year the staff engage more than one million guests, including more than 300,000 school children, to spark curiosity and help make complex scientific topics approachable.

In a partnership with AVI Systems, one of America’s largest audiovisual services and solutions providers, the museum began their relationship with Panasonic more than 10 years ago, initially deploying multiple Panasonic lamp-based projectors. Looking to retrofit their new and existing exhibits, MSI recently replaced lamp-based projectors with Panasonic laser projectors.

“MSI was clear from the beginning that experiential learning was necessary to break the typical mold of science exhibits,” said Denny McDougald, regional sales manager at AVI Systems. “Together with MSI and Panasonic, we identified solutions that would allow the museum to continue pushing the limits to create immersive and interactive exhibits for their guests.”

Creating Larger-Than-Life Exhibits With Panasonic


Replacing the existing lamp-based projectors, Panasonic’s PT-RZ660, PT-RZ670 and PT-RZ970 laser projector systems combine 1-Chip DLP™ imaging with SOLID SHINE laser technology for immersive picture quality at up to 10,000 lumens. Paired with the projector’s edge blending, color matching and projector mapping capabilities, this technology help to create seamless, larger-than-life environments that engage guests within the exhibits. Because of the projectors versatile systems and installation flexibility, the projectors can be installed in any direction vertically and horizontally and can be rotated 360 degrees for installation at any angle.

Exhibits such as Farm Tech utilize the projector’s edge blending technology by merging multiple screens to create a smooth and realistic farm scene while Panasonic’s laser projectors withstand multiple elements to bring key portions of the museum’s Science Storms exhibit to life.

“MSI’s Science Storms exhibit offers the world’s only indoor 40-foot tornado that runs continuously with projectors mounted upside down, sideways, carpet level and in tight areas throughout the exhibit,” said Roger Harris, senior manager of exhibit operations at MSI. “These projectors were instrumental in bringing this feat to life, particularly because their dust-resistant structure can withstand the humidity, water, dust, wind and high foot traffic needed to keep the exhibit running more than 360 days per year.”

In addition to the laser projectors convenient features, transitioning from lamp-based projectors to laser projectors has allowed MSI to realize long-term savings thanks to the projectors’ long-lasting laser light source.

“We are a world-class institution, and it’s imperative that our partners are committed to helping us maintain the reputation we’ve cultivated over the past 85 years. Panasonic continues to provide solutions that can meet the museum’s grueling durability needs,” said Pete Piry, senior electronic technician at MSI. “Panasonic’s projectors are extremely reliable, require minimal maintenance, and are extremely energy efficient, all of which help us to operate continuously.”

A Good Partnership For All

Although Panasonic’s solutions are hidden behind-the-scenes, MSI also wanted to ensure that they are easily serviceable should the need arise. McDougald said of the projector manufacturer, known for its unprecedented level of service and support: “Panasonic understands what a good partnership this is for everyone involved. Many companies don’t look at that. They consistently go above and beyond to make sure their customers are fully supported throughout the deployment and post-installation.”

“We believe that Panasonic’s laser projector solutions will continue to help us create the sense of awe that MSI guests have come to expect. We have set the bar high, and are confident that our decision to proceed with Panasonic’s laser technology will provide a superior, immersive experience,” said Harris.

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