Bye-Bye, Wires

These wireless gadgets will help keep you connected to everything from the local weather to satellite radio

  • Your cell phone, satellite dish and laptop were the beginning of the revolution. But this is the year wireless devices got smart. New satellite radios let you save broadcasts to enjoy later. With handheld devices, you can continue instant messaging even after your computer goes to sleep. And pager technology allows you to tap into high-tech weather facilities from your kitchen countertop.

    • Sirius S50 Portable Music Player Record Sirius satellite radio to take with you on the subway or plane, where the service isn't available. You can sort saved songs by artist or title. $360 (service extra)

    • Samsung XM NeXus Music Player Like the Sirius product above, this portable player for XM subscribers stores satellite-radio broadcasts--and MP3s--to listen to on the move. Available early 2006

    • K-Byte Zipit Wireless Messenger For wi-fi homes, this pocket-size instant messenger connects to AIM, Yahoo! or MSN and is a good way to keep the kids from fighting over the PC. $100

    • Oregon Scientific Weather Station Because it receives regional info and National Weather Service alerts via MSN Direct, you get a full visual weather report at a glance. $200

    • Uniden Internet Phone for Vonage This is one of the first mainstream phones built for the new wave of "voice over IP" broadband phone services. As with other Uniden models, additional handsets don't require their own phone jacks. $190 (service extra)