Thwarted by DRM restrictions and the lack of a high-profile movie download store in the UK, the video iPod is generally regarded to have failed to live up to its promise (so far).

According to recent research, the vast majority of video iPod owners have yet to embrace the movies-and-TV-to-go concept, and only use their portable player for listening to music and podcasts.

But various niche markets are emerging for the video iPod. For example, it’s going to be used as a tool to help police officers with dyslexia remember the Highway Code, while one education software firm claims it’s the ideal gadget to encourage children to start their homework on the bus home from school.

Over the past ten years, technology analysts have spent countless hours pontificating over which gadget will reign supreme in people’s pockets in the future. The experts once favoured the PDA, then the mobile phone, while some have recently pinned their hopes on the ultramobile PC as the preferred technology companion for business people.

But, while not quite up there with the mobile phone, the iPod is becoming a must-have consumer product, and its big screen makes it the ideal destination for tailored applications such as those mentioned above. Other ideas from sites like suggest using the iPod for viewing Wikipedia articles.

Apart from listening to music and podcasts, what do you use your iPod for?