As a University of Florida researcher, Sumi Helal made headlines with the launch of his “smart house” – an assistive environment for the elderly or disabled that can monitor everything from a resident’s movement across the floor to his or her heart rate, and relay that information to medical staff, family members and caretakers. Now a professor of computer science and engineering in SMU’s School of Engineering, Helal envisions a “smart village” that allows individuals with special needs to live alone but not isolated in a place where they can shop, socialize and enjoy the benefits of independence. The effort has the potential to make life better for everyone from aging Baby Boomers to injured veterans. Helal’s Florida research partner, IBM, created a demonstration video of Helal’s assistive technology called “A Smarter World for Charley” – see it now on YouTube.