While on a recent flight across the country, I discovered some new technology that changes the in-flight experience that wasn't available on my last trip. I have to say, it's pretty cool.

If you have flown recently, you most likely have encountered the technology I'm talking about. It's a computer monitor built into the back of each seat on the airplane.

The touch-screen monitor provides a variety of options including a digital version of the in-fight magazines, which, by the way, is clearly targeted at people with a lot more money than me.

There is a hospitality feature that details what snacks and beverages are available for passengers and the cost of each item. I spent a total of 10 hours in the air and discovered no free snacks. Apparently they have done away with the free munchies in order to equip the plane with this new computer gadget.

One of the coolest things about this new-found technology was the information that it provided at the touch of a button including the plane's altitude, how fast the plane was going, and the estimated time remaining for the flight.

It also told me the outside temperature at 27,000 feet was a chilly -38 degrees.

But, the neatest thing about the monitor is the maps feature you can access. You can get a wide satellite view of the ground below, complete with identification of cities. There is also an option to get a satellite view from either side of the aircraft or even a 'pilot's view' looking straightaway from the plane.

Check out the photo gallery for a closer look at this new technology that has come to air travel. Installing all of these computer monitors had to be pretty costly, which might help to explain why I wasn't able to find an affordable flight out of Grand Junction. Still, it was very cool.