Monday, March 19, 2007

New DAF Device?

I found a link from another website to an offer for a device that functions, by all accounts, very similar to the SpeechEasy device. Have a look at it here:

http://www.stutterfree-tool.com/

This new device appears to partly mimic the very expensive SpeechEasy...but does so at a fraction of the cost. (SpeechEasy is upwards of $3-4,000...whereas the Stutterfree-tool is only $595.) I also note that it doesn't appear to offer DELAYED audio feedback...rather, they advertise that it offers DIGITALLY MODIFIED audio feedback. The device picks up the vibration your voice produces in the body...and feeds it into your ear through the earpiece. I haven't heard of that method before...or whether it even works.

I am intrigued...for a few reasons. First, I know that a delayed audio feedback device will work for me. I use a MacBook at home and have Garageband software (music editing). One of the features of GarageBand allows you to do Podcasts and I discovered that I can hear myself while recording my voice, wearing headphones. When wearing the headphones and speaking (before actually recording)...I can hear myself through the ear pieces. If I apply a certain chipmunk voice effect, I then hear both a delayed audio feedback and a frequency modulated feedback.

When both are applied (or just the DAF is applied), I am nearly 100% fluent. Thus, I am pretty confident that a mobile DAF device will work for me.

But, I am also hesitant of this new device for a few reasons...and any good product that is charging people hundreds or thousands of dollars should be able to stand up to scrutiny. If a company becomes defensive because of genuine concerns and critical scrutiny...my advice would be to run away from them as fast as you can.

One reason, the website looks very homegrown...unorganized, cheaply done and not very appealing on any level. I would be hesitant to buy a DAF device from someone behind a lemonade stand on the side of the road...just as I would be hesitant to purchase anything from this website. They ought to invest some money into their image.

Another reason, there are no photos of this device on the website. Years ago, I read of a scam where someone advertised a guaranteed roach-killing device in the classified section of a newspaper. If you mailed in $1...you would be sent this guaranteed device. Apparently, it got a pretty big response and the guy made some money.

What the consumer was mailed in return was two small blocks of wood...and simple instructions: Place roach between blocks and press firmly. Thank you very much. You have your roach killer...and it is, in fact, guaranteed to kill roaches.

Why no photos of this device? I would never expect anyone to send me over $500 for a device that I won't even display.

What they do have is a very strange, badly drawn diagram of how the device is worn. It looks like the drawing of a third grader. Not very confidence inspiring!

Lastly, there appears to be no documentation (besides testimonials, which, if we are honest, can be entirely faked) on the effectiveness of the device or the method. And there is no information on the site about the manufacturer. Who are these people? Where are they? Are they working with experts, speech pathologists, etc? Or is this device manufactured in somebody's garage?

I would encourage all of you to have a look at this new device and give me some feedback here...and maybe even contact the manufacturer. I intend to email the company and invite them here to respond to this entry.

7 comments:

slippocket said...

In reply to your post- StutterFree web-site has--1 a real address-2 a Guarantee-3 a printed reason why the price is so low--4 a straight up look on how the device works--and so on. Yes there is a device-- Fluency Master that uses the same technology, but the price is way high. Look up there web-site. It is called FLUENCY MASTER. I hope this has been helpful. Yours, Chris Brewer- StutterFree

Law Student said...

How about a photograph of the device so that customers can see what they are getting. I find it hard to believe that anyone would fork out over $500 for any device without seeing exactly what it looks like...dimensions, weight, size, etc. Is it as big as a garage door opener...or smaller than a Zippo lighter? Come on, man, help us out here! You have a drawing of the device on the site...a BAD drawing. This advice could only help you get more customers!

Bud said...

Maybe we should try to reach those "testimonials" if they are one of these listed on yellowbook.com. If someone really wants to back a product, I would think they would give more than their first name. Here is what I found for possibilities on the others:
Bane, J E
1115 Sunrise Rd
Defuniak Springs, FL 32433-4604
(850) 859-2218

McCormick, T & S
1574 Highway 30
Calamus, IA 52729-9643
(563) 246-2160

McCormick, T & B
296 Smokey Hollow Rd
Harpers Ferry, IA 52146-7517
(563) 586-2014

Bud

woodpaul said...

Hello Law Student!

I'm following your blog for a while now. I'm a 28 years old stutterer from Hungary.

I've been interested in the DAF technique too, and found a very good application for Pocket PC (or PDA, whatever). If you have a PDA with a headset with microphone, then you'll get an ideal mobile DAF device, only for 40 bucks.

It's called SpeechGym and you can check it (and download a trial version) at www.speechgym.com. You can also find my testimonial there.

I have no interest advertising this site. It has just worked for me, when I'm used it. Maybe it would help to you as well.

Best Regards,
Ferenc from Hungary

Law Student said...

Welcome! Yes, I have heard of that software that you can put on your pocket PC...but, alas, no pocket PC or PDA. I just wonder how difficult it would be to make a device using audio equipment from a guitar center or high end music product store.

T said...

My 11 year old daughter suffers from disfluency, and it continues to get worse. I purchased a used windows mobile device (PDA/Phone) on eBay for less than $100 and then purchased DAF software from SpeechGym.com for $40 ($140 total). I knew nothing about SpeechGym other than it was affordable and they had a Windows mobile version. The sound is not high-quality but it seems to work well. We saw immediate positive results from my daughter - priceless. Delay was set at only 60-70ms. Now we're hoping and praying for positive results over the long haul.
Moral of the story - you don't have to pay a bundle to get a good Delayed Audio Feedback (DAF) device. As a bonus, the device I purchased is a Verizon cell phone with built-in .mp3 player and QWERTY keyboard - she loves it.
Todd

delmy said...

My 9 yr old also suffers from disfluency I purchase the DAF software from IPOD TOUCH you have to buy microphone headphones but so far its working great and I only paid $9.99.