On your way home, you give a signal by mobile phone. The lights and temperature in your apartment are automatically set to your pre-programmed liking. Your bath is waiting.
At the door, a sensor recognizes your face and automatically lets you in.
Sitting on the sofa, you press a button and the lights dim, the blinds close and the TV turns on to your favourite channel
Such scenes were often the stuff of science fiction but now the "smart home" is a reality for some Chinese. Last week the newly opened City Centre in Tianjin showcased the "all home life in one key." A new way of living.
Smart homes feature many eye-opening functions like keeping a watchful eye on the home via the office pc, receiving an alert on the owner's TV and computer as the postman opens the mailbox, and if there is nobody at home, the owner can turn off appliances by mobile phone. If somebody pays you a visit whilst you are out, the door device will also record visitors' photos and messages.
"As more and more high end users in China put an emphasis on the safety, convenience and humane design of their residence, the 'smart home' has become a new trend," said Shen Dali, president of Honeywell China.
The concept of the smart home was introduced to China ten years ago. By 2001 there were about 400 "intelligent" buildings in Shanghai, but most are only equipped with visual talk-back and some basic automatic security devices.
It is only in the last two years that real smart homes have begun to boom in China. Most newly built high-end residences, like the Mangrove West Coast project in Shenzhen, are equipped with smart home solutions such as the intelligent security protection system, real-time monitoring security protection, intelligent entrance guard systems and changeable lights and scenery.
Tedjarati said such intelligent systems account for a very small part of the total costs of real estate projects. The City Centre project has spent 20 - 30 million yuan (US$2.48-3.71 million) on all security and automation control systems, with the intelligent home solution technology only accounting for only 2 per cent.
"The technology helps the developer to differentiate their products from their competitors', and gives customers a wide range of lifestyle choices," he added.