Gear of the year

Forget boring tech: Here are some of the most innovative, interesting products we’ve seen (or are waiting to see) this year.

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Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio

Move over Sonos. Linksys by Cisco enters the Wi-Fi hi-fi business with its Wireless Home Audio system, which lets you distribute high-quality music in two rooms for less than $1000. It uses your existing 802.11n network to transfer the music, whether you’re using the Conductor (second from left, a stand-alone player with a CD slot and built-in speakers), the Director (third from left, a 50-watt amp that connects your speakers), or the Player (far left, streams digital music to an existing stereo). The Controller (far right) lets you pick which music you want to hear in what room.

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