The iPod has spawned a generation of cyborg consumers, according to a Canadian professor.

In his research York University marketing professor Markus Giesler describes the iPod as: "A great example of what happens when consumers unite with technology that fits their lives."

"The iPod is a personal soundtrack, a memory device, and a gadget that carries around all the digital information we collect. As a result, a person and an iPod together form a cybernetic unit, one in which the device becomes essential to the person's identity and wellbeing," he explains.

"The cyborg consumer is embedded in a hybrid entertainment matrix, one in which they're always on and always connected, both technologically and socially."

Giesler's notes: "There's a lot of evidence to support the notion that technology is changing consumer behavior. And we'd better be ready to respond to those changes."

Discussing Giesler's findings, ClickZ adds: "Connected consumers are partially defined by an ability to control their world. From the music they listen to and the games they play to videos they watch, news they read, and people they talk to, cyborg consumers use technology for control.

"They like control, and anything that interferes with their sense of control is viewed as bad and dangerous. Just look at spam and spyware if you need examples of how consumers react to marketing efforts that try to take control away. Respecting the need for control and fitting into their lifestyle pays dividends."