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Hey Forrester, let me give this Apple prognostication thing a try

Forrester Research presumes to know what sort of products Apple will introduce over the next five years. On Thursday it issued a report predicting Apple's products will focus on digital entertainment in the home.

Among the things Forrester foresees from Apple by the year 2013 are, ahem, a networked digital photo frame and a clock radio.

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I won't dispute the likelihood of Apple concentrating on networked devices in the home, but seriously, a clock radio?

It occurs to me that given Apple's legendary veil of secrecy over its research and development, any Apple watcher could make an equally valid set of predictions.

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In that spirit, I predict Apple will reach for the sky in the next five years. A few of the products I imagine brewing in the Cupertino labs:

iMod

A successor to the iPhone and iPod, the iMod (short for iModule) will be a tiny electronic device implanted in the user's head, where it will interface with his or her brain. Thought impulses will control the iMod, which will utilize a 4G wireless network to connect to the rest of the world. The iMod will be able to stream GPS data, e-mail, Web pages, music and videos all directly into the user's head, eliminating the possibility of disturbing others nearby. Talk about getting a song stuck in your head.

The device also will be capable of making telepathic phone calls, but the user will need to take care to screen stray thoughts. Chronic liars beware. Only Apple-certified surgeons will have authorization to insert an iMod or change its battery.

Virtual Apple Store

Why go to the mall when you can shop in the virtual Apple Store? Yes, the boring old online Apple Store will get a serious upgrade, transforming it into something more akin to a Sims game. In 2013 your avatar will stroll though a simulated version of a brick-and-mortar Apple Store, interacting with concierge avatars, sales avatars and genius avatars (smartly color-coded so you can tell them apart). However, only those with an active .Mac account will be able to create shopper avatars.

Holographic technology

Apple finally will deliver holographic technology for the rest of us. A new addition to the iLife suite, iDimensions, will use the iSight HT cameras built into all new Macs to generate holograms. If Mac buyers choose to upgrade their optical drives to the new Apple HoloDrive (just $499 extra!), they'll be able to burn their holograms onto special disks that will be very expensive and very hard to find. A few years later Apple will introduce the HoloPod, a portable holographic projector. Within two years Apple will own 70 percent the exploding holographic market.

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.

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