Image: Multimedia Player, Archos 704
This seven-inch color LCD screen is managed by the touch of a finger. Before you take off, download your favorite television shows or movies from a DVR or web site. The 80GB Archos 704 holds up to 100 movies, can store 40,000 songs or 800,000 pictures. When you're waiting for your flight to arrive, check your email or download new movies using the player's WiFi.
updated 7/2/2007 2:19:52 PM ET 2007-07-02T18:19:52

Your accommodations for the next eight hours: a cramped foam chair sandwiched between two cold metal bars, and one lumpy pillow of dubious provenance. You're going to need all the help you can get.

For Tim Winship, publisher of, it's all about location, location, location. "If you're on a ten, 12 or 15 hour flight, the location of the seat is really going to have a lot to do with the quality of the experience. I work to get an aisle seat, which sort of minimizes claustrophobia, and allows you to stretch your legs into the aisle a little bit."

You're also more apt to get up and walk around, adds Dr. Alan Hedge, ergonomics professor at Cornell University. Hedge also recommends a little Rockette action to avoid blood clots: keep the ball of your feet on the ground and bounce your heel up and down to circulate blood back to the heart. "If you can put your iPod on, listen to a good tune and tap away with your feet, that's good," he said.

It also makes sense to dress the part. Any clothing that moves easily and can provide ventilation will allow for maximum circulation. "If for some reason you're overheating, loosen your tie, open the top button on your blouse; try to get air moving around so you can keep your body comfortable. Your comfort is more important than your appearance on these flights," Hedge said.

As for in-flight entertainment, these days you're better off bringing your own. "Instead of settling for the censored, interrupted movies with poor image quality on flights, you should take control of your own video viewing experience," said telecommunications consultant, Derek Kerton.

He suggests doing so with just one ultra portable device, like the new iPhone, a video iPod, or the Archos multimedia player. Slip on some VR glasses, and it's like you're watching a 42-inch wide screen, according to Rich Buttiglieri, consultant at the Design and Usability Center at Bentley College.

Image: Video Eyewear, myvu
These VR glasses create a virtual big screen experience. Adjust the image and sound with a small control attached to the connecting wire; the glasses allow you to have enough peripheral vision to see when the flight attendant is approaching with your next drink.
Finally, it is a universally acknowledged truth that airplane blankets are both ineffective and hygienically questionable. The Cabin Cuddler wraps neatly around each part of your body, and its flaps leave ample room to fasten your seatbelt. You might also bring along an airline sheet, which fits snugly around each corner of the chair behind you.

We scoured the latest travel technology offerings to come up with an ideal ten item portfolio. It includes gee-whiz gadgets like a pair of slippers warmed by your laptop via a USB cable, a white-noise eye mask, and a gadget charger that plugs into the audio connectors in your armrests. This is the most inventive carry-on gear available for in-air gratification. Rest easy.


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