A NEW dimension in match-day experience will soon be available to AFL fans at Etihad Stadium with the introduction of hi-tech smart seats.
The in-seat tablets are set to be rolled out at first in the Medallion Club, but could provide a window to the potential norm at all sports stadiums in the decades to come.
The first batch of luxury leather 'Smart Seats' was unveiled at the Docklands stadium for Friday night's Essendon-Hawthorn game.
Up to 1000 Medallion Club seats will eventually be fitted with the high-definition screens in the initial phase.
"We have canvassed the globe and looked at technology at some of the world's great venues and ultimately in association with our partners Telstra and Samsung, we believe we have produced a global first product which takes the in-stadium sports experience to another level," Etihad Stadium acting chief executive Michael Green said.
The interactive touch screens will also offer fans access to all Fox Sports and free-to-air channels, meaning they can check in on other games in progress.
Children's television channels Nickelodeon and Nickelodeon Junior are also available, to keep the kids occupied during quieter points of your day at the footy.
"This is an incredibly exciting collaboration for Samsung as it involves the creation of an entirely new way for Etihad Stadium guests to experience events using our premium Galaxy Tab S2 range of tablets," Samsung mobility head Danny Mandrides said.
"The Smart Seat solution developed with Etihad Stadium and Telstra involves the creation of an ecosystem of hardware, applications, and software security to support a rich visual experience directly from the stadium seat," he said.
As part of its contract with to hand over a state-of-the-art venue to the AFL, when the League takes ownership in 2025, Etihad Stadium has been progressively updating its technology in recent years.
This has included high-definition scoreboards, free wifi and hundreds of plasma television screens throughout the venue providing a more dynamic experience for fans.
Stadium bosses say they're trying to create one of the most technically advanced and connected sporting stadiums on the planet.
The Docklands stadium was opened in 2000 with a capacity of around 53,000 seats for AFL games.
At the time, it was the first stadium in the country to offer in-seat screens in its premium level two space.
Up to 1000 seats in Medallion Club will eventually be upgraded. Picture: Supplied