Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

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 devicewith 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. 

Interview with Daniel Floyd - web version

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. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
Related Content