I moved your thread to 'General IoT Discussion'
I would think a main factor is having the machines in the home/building talk to each other takes the system to a new level. For example, you could check your temperature reading in your home, see that it is too hot, and the press a button that remotely turns on your air conditioning. Certainly this is some level of remote control management, but I don't think it has stepped into the realm of home automation yet. Now, if you are able to make your air conditioning respond to events in the environment of your home, such as automatically turning on when the temperature reaches a certain level, or automatically turning off if no human is detected in the house, then I think that elevates to a new level. It's still remote control but you add a layer of automation. I suppose with the automation level, you have the ability for remote control, but you don't need to insert yourself as the manual operation to keep the system going.
Phwew! That's an essay...probably the coffee talking