Apple patent applications either meet with resounding “I want that, give that to me now!” or “meh, why?” and it seems the reception to these iPod Bluetooth Headset illustrations is leaning toward the latter. The patent application shows a device similar in shape to the existing Apple Bluetooth headset, but that would have a detachable second earbud, an integrated display and onboard storage.
That storage would turn the headset into a full-blown iPod, similar to the shuffle. You would also be able to record voice notes, since it would have an integrated microphone, and of course it could be used for hands-free calling in the regular way. Apple’s application also describe a form of basic automatic volume adjustment that would change earpiece volume depending on the ambient noise picked up by the microphone.
“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 headset is being used with 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” Apple patent application
The microphone could also be used to trigger voice-activated shortcuts, such as asking for specific tracks or playlists. Where the confusion comes in, of course, is that the headset might not appeal so much to existing iPhone users, who already have an MP3 player; however it might broaden the appeal of Apple’s iPod line to users of other cellphones.