financial boost

April 27, 2011

Sorry for hiatus. I was really busy with changing my job. Got one this week. Now, Lady and Gentlemen, we have “corporate sponsorship”.

Please stay tuned, and have some faith.

New look of the blog

October 19, 2010

I went back to the original format.  The recent one was too clumsy…

Moving along

October 19, 2010

I just had a nice chat with A.W., a bright fellow who also worked on a hardware implementation of DAF/AAF.

We drafted a development plan. This week we will try to close in on a hardware choice and order parts.

Stay tuned.

Posted on StutteringBrain Blog

October 18, 2010

Got mentioned  on Tom’s blog.  And already got responses!

Firmware

November 30, 2009

I already have  most of the firmware that will perform heavy lifting of AAF and DAF.

Design v1.0 finalized

November 30, 2009

After a number of hours of going through pros and cons of various designs I finally settled on one of the options. This option will have all common functions found in its counterparts. I just ordered parts from DigiKey and Mouser.

So, why is it so expensive? Response from manufacturers.

November 27, 2009

I asked manufacturers of the SpeakEasy and SmallTalk about the cost of their devices ($5k and $1.6k respectively). They (Thomas and Alan) were nice to respond promptly with the following reasons. Basically the price is not driven by the manufacturing cost but rather by the small size of the market.

See, both these companies are for-profit manufacturers whose sole or primary income comes from anti-stuttering devices. So, if I were to chose this as my sole source of income — I would not have any other choice but keep prices high enough to sustain my salary.

Well, I don’t. I already have a job and my driving force is a compassion to those who stutter. My personal experience inspires me, my training enables me.

Can this be really done?

November 23, 2009

Last week I spent sometime (re)searching various options for mobile signal processing. The findings are quite encouraging: there is a number of chips that can be used for our purpose.

Here is a brief summary of my findings:

  • there is a chip in Hong Kong that can be re-used without much of the firmware modification,
  • I also found several general purpose IC,
  • and finally, there is a family of very powerful powerful enough general-purpose chips but the codding for them is a ted bit involved.

What I liked about all these options is that the cost of the parts is below a few hundred dollars.

Details are in the follow up posts.

Anti-stuttering devices: first dive

November 23, 2009

Dear Fellows,

let me start with this — I know first-hand all the pain, suffering, and self-imposed humiliation of being a stutterer so let me cut down to the chase: There are devices that help alleviate stuttering. They seem to have a noticeable effect for some fraction of stutterers particularly on those with a severe condition. My search for such devices gave me several options that seem to have acceptable success rate: SpeakEasy ($5,000),  SmallTalk($2,500), and Fluency Enhancer ($1,600). But why are they  so expensive?

Being a scientist and a technical person (PhD and years of postdoctoral research in particle physics) I will try to answer this question: how much does it really cost to make such a device?

First things first — math: The technology behind these miracles is a so-called altered (delayed and frequency-modified) auditory feedback (aka AAF), i.e. speaker’s voice is returned into his/her ear after it goes through a delay line (typically 100 milliseconds) and a voice altering processor (pitch shift, frequency masking, etc. ). Mathematically it is a simple manipulation (FFT),  but computationally it is intensive a real time processing by a stand alone device.


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