What is home automation? In short: it is a clever integration of technology and services, to control your home devices for a better quality of life. A home automation system uses a variety of sensors and actors. A sensor makes an observation and can control one or more actors. Actors make a circuit or send out a signal.
Home automation is a step toward what is referred to as the "Internet of Things," in which everything has an assigned IP address, and can be monitored and accessed remotely.