The iPod of the future could be used as a brain back-up device.

Accenture has been working on a concept it calls the Personal Awareness Assistant for years, and the iPod may be the forerunner of such a device, suggests Forbes Arik Hesseldahl.

Accenture's goal is to "combine a computer that goes everywhere you do with a device that records everything you see, say and hear", he explains. The aim is that we would no longer need to rely on fallible human memory.

An iPod could be used to record conversations. It could also be used to store all our records from qualifications to birth certificates, passports, and health data.

According to Hessaldahl, the average American consumer generates 100GB worth of data in the form of financial, health, academic and other records over the course of a lifetime. "It would be useful if people were able to store a complete personal and family medical history on an iPod-like device," he writes.