Classical music or soft Jazz is the first thing you hear, before you
even open your eyes. As the soft sounds slowly increase in volume,
the lights in your room gradually ramp up to a comfortable morning level.
You still haven't opened your eyes, but as you swing your legs over
the side of the bed, your feet touch the warmth of the radiant heated floor
beneath your carpet. As you plod into the bathroom, your wall-mounted
flatscreen television flicks on to CNN at exactly 6:30 AM, updating you
on the great day you had on the market yesterday.
A shower and a shave later, you bounce into the kitchen to find your
coffee warm and ready, since your coffee pot knew to start brewing at 6:20
AM. You check the headlines on your tabletop Internet appliance before
you dash out the front door and head for work. Don't worry about
locking up the house, turning off the lights or the coffee pot, or setting
the security system. As you pull out of your driveway, an underground
sensor detects your exit and the house takes care of everything for you.
After you get to work, you log on to your home's web site, where you
can view your security cameras. Not only that, but the Nanny Cam
in your child's nursery lets you look in on the little one. When
the kids arrive home from school in the afternoon and enter their security
codes into the system, you get a message on your pager that lets you know
that they are safe and sound. When a deliveryman arrives, one quick
call to the house system unlocks and opens the front gate so that he can
leave the package at the front door.
After putting in a grueling day, you hop in your car and head home.
About a block away, you call up your house from your cell phone and instruct
the heating/cooling system to bring the temperature to a comfortable level
in the den since the sun is going down. The sensors beneath the driveway
detect your arrival, and because the sun is already down, the lights automatically
come on in the yard and the garage door opens.
As you walk in the back door, the house lights a pathway to the kitchen,
where your family's healthy dinner is warm and ready in a matter of minutes,
thanks to the fast cooking of your smart stove. After dinner you
retire to the home theater, where your TV's set-top box followed your instructions
and found and recorded two cable programs on the solar system during the
day, which will help your son on his science project. Interactive
on-screen prompts point him to web sites where the two of you can follow
up on further research together.
But at 9:00 PM it's lights out. You've preprogrammed your home
system to lock out televisions after bedtime, except in your room, where
you're catching up on the news and downloading your email to your bedside
touch-screen. You finish a few last minute tasks before you press
the “Good Night” button, which locks your home for the night and arms the
You're not dreaming, you know — you are building the home of your dreams!
And this time around, you're planning to include electronic systems in
the big picture. You're planning a “Smart Home!”