Nature of the leisure industry

3.0 Introduction

The nature of the leisure industry is constantly changing because of new innovations and economic trends. A good example of a new innovation would be air sports such as hand gliding and bungee jumping. Many developments from previous to current products such as the mp3 player and mobiles have increased in the amount of popularity and appeal.

There are many reasons why there are so many changes in the leisure industry because the leisure industry in itself is an open market in which many people can and have developed in. Leisure providers are always planning for the future and how they are going to be successful, so in order to achieve their goals they attempt to create a new innovation or innovations for (mainly) the general public. If they were to be successful then results could vary from really high success to maybe just a moderate success.

A good example of a successful innovation would be the iPod range because when mp3 players were just playing songs and nothing else the iPod franchise saw the opportunity to build and grow in that certain market and so are where they are today because of their innovations.

A moderate successful innovation would be a product or service which is fairly popular and is showing some signs of growth. In order to get towards the high end market they must keep changing certain products or how a service is run. Some innovations are quite articulate whilst some are quite indispensable, this shows how the leisure industry is constantly changing; they are all aiming for that one product which will give them that extra advantage over other companies. It mainly depends on the social trends and economical state or balance.

The nature of the leisure industry is very unpredictable because it can change in an instance and can either gain or lose appeal to any product.

3.1 Recent innovations

Mobile phones are a main source for socializing amongst most people. It is a passive pursuit because we choose to receive a call or make a call in our own free time, meaning that we usually don’t have any duties to pursue and respond to.

Mobile phones have had many recent changes; mobile phones have had different innovations applied towards it ever since the early 1990’s, when Dr. Eric Fossum and his team achieved the first steps of realizing the modern camera phone which we have today.

Another example of changes in camera phone innovation is when new technology was applied to the already advanced technology. ‘first camera phones, as successfully marketed by J-Phone in Japan, used sensors and not CMOS sensors, more than 90% of camera phones sold today use CMOS image sensor technology’.(Wikipedia, 2007)
The most noticeable changes in innovation have to be the Apple iPhone because it has practically started a revolution in phone design single handed. There have been numerous designs to match the iPhone but always have fell short, mainly because of the iPhone software. Many competitors have copied the design, the style and even some of the icons but they could not copy or replicate the Apple’s operating system. It is an internet device a phone and without having buttons.

  • ‘Iphone turnover represents 18.5% of Apples sales. Up from 5.7% the previous year
  • 57 million iphones and iPod touches sold in the last two years’
    (txt4ever, 2009)

The advantages in which the apple iPhone have on an average mobile phone are hefty. Such as, the iPhone includes stock chart, calendar, compass, maps, YouTube, weather, voice memos, iPod, world clocks, iTunes, notes, camera and App store as a normal default setting. Meaning that other mobiles can only include half of what the iPhone has to offer. In addition to revolutionizing phone designs the iPhone has already created a huge market for accessories, cases, docks, applications and much more. With its vast range and variety of applications it can be used by almost anyone. It has free wireless internet, video recording, safari, and mail. Many apps are based on general and social needs but can be utilized for active, passive and home based pursuits. For example the iphone have produced numerous cooking apps and timers to aid anyone who may need assistance in cooking. The iphone also offers a wide variety of games where you can even play online with other player from around the world. This would go under as a home based leisure.

The iphone isn’t just for socializing and low energy activities it can also perform various high energy activities such as the Nike+ iPod app system. It can apparently time your goals, measure the distance travelled, workout how much calories were burnt and fix a timetable for your work out. It is described as a personal trainer without a personal trainer.

Apple iPhone shows the importance of new innovations in technology. Many leisure facilities can have a huge advantage in terms of benefit and profit. If recreation facilities have a Wi-Fi zone such as in a cafe or a store than many iPhone and laptop users can connect directly with minimum trouble. The leisure facility would see increase in participation and social commuters in the facilities.

Another example of recent innovations is the Wii Fit from the Nintendo franchise. It has revolutionised what we usually do in our homes, or even in recreational facilities. Its objective is to combine fun and fitness into one product; it can apparently change how you exercise, how you balance and even how you move.

This new technology has changed the popularity and participation rates in local recreational facilities, for example yoga and fitness classes would see a distinctive decrease in participants most probably because of the new innovations produced. The advantages of owning one of these new innovations such as the Wii Fit can produce more advanced accurate readings of progress, it can estimate how many calories you might have put on or burned, no membership costs, uses a user interface system, wireless, Wii fit has a variety of games and exercise in which you can participate in and is generally easy to use. ‘The most popular sports/physical activities in NSW were:

  1. Walking (other than bushwalking)
  2. Aerobics/fitness
  3. Swimming
  4. Tennis
  5. Cycling
  6. Golf
  7. Running
  8. Bushwalking
  9. Soccer (outdoor)
  10. Yoga'(Government, 2009)

Participation rates in sports/physical activities amongst different age groups ‘Participation decreases with age:

  • 15 – 24 years – 94.3%
  • 25 – 34 years – 85.2%
  • 35 – 44 years – 85.3%
  • 45 – 54 years – 80.4%
  • 55 – 64 years – 83.4%
  • 65 years and over – 70.7%'(Government, Participation in exercise, 2009)

3.2 Technology

Reading books in our spare time used to be one of our leisure pursuits whether home-based or public. Recent innovations have lead normal reading to new technological heights. One example is the kindle where people can read their favourite books with just a few push of the buttons. The Kindle has the potential to store up to more than 300,000 books and can easily be accessed. The Kindle has many advantages as well as disadvantages.

The advantages are:

  • It’s very useful for short and long range trips
  • You can send any files via the kindle email
  • Its portable and light
  • You can read almost any book at any time
  • You can get an on-line dictionary

The disadvantages are:

  • It has limited research abilities
  • No internet connectivity abroad
  • Limited memory expansion
  • Battery is quite heavy
  • Could be vulnerable to break
  • Doesn’t have the real feel of book (depends on personal tastes)

There are many other advantages and disadvantages but what makes this product a success is because of its unique qualities. It has already shown progress in its growth in the USA, UK and Europe.

The chart shows the increase in kindle users in a course of a month.

(Steve, 2009)

Kindle has created a new technological innovation where they relate to many people across the world. They have already partnered up with the apple in building a new Kindle app for the iPhone and iTunes. ‘On March 3, 2009, launched an application entitled Kindle for iPhone in the for and owners to read Kindle content.'(Wikipedia, 2009 )

This image shows the Kindle Wi-Fi range and coverage.

This shows that the Amazon kindle still has many more innovations impending ahead.

(Switch31, 2009)

There are other new technologies where it is mainly based on your leisure pursuits. Battlefield sports are a new innovation in combat entertainment. It uses digital technology called S.A.T.R which stands for small arms transmitter receiver. It has already had a convention in which it was very successful and has made many breakthroughs in the recent leisure attractions. S.A.T.R is the world’s first real time hit feedback which creates an impelling realistic like in game statistics. It also doesn’t need a central computer system.

Battlefield sports are build system where gamers can participate in combat missions for their measurable entertainment. Millions of games have been played across 34 countries where they all experienced unique battle missions. Battlefield sports have already won numerous awards such as the member of the year (2007) of the Australian technology showcase. Battlefield sports are dedicated to 100% quality in service, design and manufacturing.

Battlefield sports are live meaning everything is in real time and active. It is also very versatile meaning it can be played indoors and outdoors. It offers exciting, satisfying and potentially profitable business opportunities on the planet. It isn’t the same as regular gaming, where it is mainly home-based and less active. They also offer partnerships meaning they are still growing and are leading in new innovations in numerous ways (new systems, S.A.T.R, infra red lasers, inflatable’s etc…).

Battlefield sports have created a new innovation in which many people can benefit it greatly. It is mainly active and offers many health benefits and a new market in which businesses can evolve and excel.

‘The experts at Battlefield Sportsâ„¢ have created a unique business platform for anyone who wants to take advantage of business opportunities created by the dramatic cultural shifts in today’s computer game environment'(Sports, 2009).

“S*A*T*R is a huge step forward in combat entertainment,” explained Paul Diamond, UK Agent for Battlefield Sports. “Battlefield Sports spent two years developing this latest innovation in the leisure industry and now will showcase this breakthrough at Leisure Industry Week” (LIW, 2009)

3.3 Influences of the media

The media has a large impact in influencing change, appeal and popularity of leisure activities because the media itself is very broad and diverse matter, meaning it can affect large amounts people across almost any region of any country.