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Celebrating Australian Made – Leisure Technologies

Manufacturing News

Today in our editorial series Celebrating Australian Made, coinciding with Australian Made Week, we look at an industry that has boomed post-Covid. Here Peter Roberts profiles Leisure Technologies.

Tony Maddison and his partner Andre Olivier are like many Australians, they love their caravans and touring the outback.

So when the two friends were gathered round a Western Australian campfire Maddison, who had a rich history in business in software and electronics companies, and even ran a caravan park in South Africa, turned the conversation to starting a business, now called Leisure Technologies.

Maddison said: “Where it all came up was on a camping trip.

“We had been towing and we had issues with the towing plug that you plus into the towing vehicle that failed, it was a terribly hot 40 degree day and we thought ‘there has to be a better way’.

“Today, a lot of our management meetings are held in a caravan – we will hitch up the vans and get away.”

Beginning more as a hobby they set about developing a wireless towing system, so there would be no more plugs to fail.

An anti-theft capability was a feature of their first device named WiTi launched in 2018 – after all there is not much to stop someone hitching up your caravan and driving away with it.

“But it quickly became very clear that the anti-theft system was what was where the demand was.

“We are not 5 years in and we are doubling our turnover every year.”

The Witi device incorporates a gyroscope and accelerometer commonly used in drones, which is bought in from an outside supplier.

“They are very sensitive to movement and whet happens around them. If anybody decides to pinch the van, the gyroscope senses that movement and triggers an alarm and locks the brakes.

“It brings peace of mind if you are away hiking or lave left the van.”

But the rest of the system including the printed circuit board and plastic parts is made in house at Leisure Technologies factory at Joondalup in Perth.

Leisure Technologies originally had its product manufactured in China, but with Covid.

Maddison said: “We purchased our own machinery to make the electronics, the plastics and it meant we could manufacture to customer demand.

“Before, it was three months from order to arrival.

“Now we are manufacturing on demand. Within a week we can make 500 units. It is a significant win for us.”

Along with the device the company also provides a Q Protect and QTrack vehicle tracking service for $49 a year.

If the alarm triggers it send a message to your mobile phone and an email telling you if the power has been disconnected.

Maddison said: “We have seen an increase in of the amount of travellers since Covid. People are opting for more of a nomad lifestyle.

“…And it has a new name now, ‘freedom camping’ complete and self sufficient with solar panels and lithium batteries.”

Celebrating Australian Made is an editorial series by @AuManufacturing, created in cooperation with the Australian Made Campaign Limited for Australian Made Week.

Picture: Leisure Technologies

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