Technology is playing an important in the changing world of leisure and entertainment. The key drivers of this change are a mix of Digitisation, Networks, Devices, Broadband and P2P.
Digitisation ensures that data can be moved around so much more easily. Be it the music files or our own vacation pictures taken by digital cameras, data will continue going digital at an even faster pace in the coming years.
Networks (the wired Internet and the nascent mobile Internet) are ensuring an envelope of ubiquitous connectivity to deliver digital information anytime and anywhere. These new networks build on and extend the existing infrastructure created by the world’s telephone and cable networks.
Devices take care of the delivery to the end users, creating a platform for more personalised and interactive entertainment. For example, Apple’s newly introduced iPoD delivers the music you want, when you want it.
Broadband is slowly but steadily creating the platform for whole new business models, as it becomes possible to stream digital content to audiences worldwide.
P2P (Peer-to-peer or in this context, person-to-person) interactions are facilitating greater exchange of information between people – be it personal journals in the form of weblogs, music files, trading collectibles through online auctions sites like eBay, or distributing (mostly illegally) music and video clips. P2P also allows people to pursue their niche hobbies by finding communities of interest.
This combination of technology and distribution is facilitating key changes in leisure and entertainment.
Choice and Fragmentation: There’s just so much to do and so little time – this applies as much to work as to fun! We will explore 10 leisure-time activities in this series: Reading, Radio, Music, TV, Movies, Games, Internet, Indoors, Outdoors and Socialising. Lots of choice also means parallel processing, leading to a fragmentation in attention span.
Personalisation: Each one’s concept of leisure and fun is different, and the multitude of devices is making entertainment much more personalised. For example, when it comes to music, rather than listening to broadcast radio stations, it is now a lot easier to search and find the music we like, make playlists and play it back on our own MP3 players.
Interactive: Entertainment is becoming much more participative – from TV shows which invite viewers to shape the programmes and their endings to the avatars and their actions in the persistent universes of multi-player online games.
Work-Play Integration: Enterprises are moving towards becoming real-time, which means our responses need to be to. The deadly combo of the Internet, laptops and cellphones ensures that work can follow us on vacations everywhere on Earth.
Tech-centric: Technology plays a critical role now in fun times: whether it’s the preliminary research done through the Internet on movies, vacation spots, books and music, or marvelling at the tech creations like Monsters and Shrek (the two big animation movies of 2001).