In a future where we're all walking around wondering how our iPod brain implants came to exist, historians can point back to this Apple patent application from 2008 and glimpse the missing link: an in-ear iPod.
Of course, others may see this as simply a Bluetooth headset with integrated memory and audio playback capabilities (music, voice mails). The Orwellian in me, though, is fairly certain this gadget will mark Apple's slow crawl into our skulls. Read the patent's abstract to judge for yourself:
Additional functionality in a wireless headset allows it to be used during times that the external device with which it is wirelessly coupled is not being used, but when the headset is nevertheless being worn. This is accomplished by integrating a media player into the wireless headset. The media player may be an audio player, capable, e.g., of playing audio files such as MPEG-3 ("MP3") files. Optionally, the media player may include a recording function as well, so that a user can record voice notes. In addition, if the external device is a telephone (mobile or landline), the availability of a recording function could make it possible for the user to record all or part of a conversation. Similarly, voicemail messages received on the user's telephone could be uploaded into the headset for later off-line playback. Media files recorded by the headset also could be downloaded to the external device.