WSW: From Speech Impediment to Patent
Daniel Floyd says the movie The Great Debaters inspired his idea for a device to help people with articulation.
In the movie, the students prepare for a debate with radishes in their mouths. Floyd, who grew up with a speech impediment, says he used a wine cork instead, but got the same results. It helped him with enunciation.
Floyd says he was bullied as a child and has seen a speech pathologist since he was very young. The wine cork worked, but left bits of cork in his teeth. So Floyd went looking for a device that could help with articulation. When he didn't find one, Floyd developed his own silicone device with the help of a design team. He worked with a patent attorney, and was able to receive a patent for the SpeechMasterPro three years after starting the process.
A company has been launched and the SpeechMasterPro is being sold through the website. Floyd says about 200 people have used the product so far. He has given some of those away, including to students at WMU. Floyd says so far the feedback has been positive, and he's optimistic the company will grow in the future.