Fluently automatically loads on your iDevice once pressed. First, it seems to calibrate to the background noise. Then, it shows a screen with a green-ish circular button in the middle of the screen as well as a sensitivity slider. Choose the type of audio sensitivity appropriate to your client. If you slide the bar to the left where there are two speaker lines, the application will be more sensitive to hard contacts/disfluencies. If you slide the bar to the right where there are four speaker lines, the application will be less sensitive to hard contacts/disfluencies. The application uses an algorithm to determine whether the audio inputted is a disfluency or not based on the threshold indicated by the sensitivity slider.
The main use of this application is for clients to practice using easy onsets and light contact instead of hard onsets which cause blocks and other disfluencies. When a persons' speech has a hard contact, whether at the beginning, middle, or end of a phrase, depending on the sensitivity set on the bar, the circular button will turn from green-ish to red. To reset the button and continue practicing fluent speech, press on it. When the application is picking up speech/audio, it will blink in the middle of the circular button. This application is a visual tool for people who stutter when they are speaking which can help them self-monitor their speech, disfluencies, and practice fluency strategies such as easy onset and light contact. The developer of the application recommends that the user either speak directly into the devices' built-in microphone or use an external microphone with headphones for the iPad to pick up the audio signal of the user's speech without external noise. The developer also recommends that the user be in a quiet room so that the light does not pick up ambient/background noises.
To access the "Settings" Menu, press the list icon at the top, right hand corner of the application. There are six different options on the "Settings" Menu:
- Support - Press on the "Support" button to view three more options; User Guide - Pressing the "User Guide" option allows the user of the application to learn how to use the application by opening the user guide online (must have internet access); Send Feedback - Pressing this button opens an e-mail form via the "Mail" application to contact Balbus Speech with any questions, comments, or suggestions about the Fluently application; E-Mail Us - Pressing this button opens an e-mail form via the "Mail" application to contact Balbus Speech; both of the mail options require you to have internet access and your e-mail connected to the "Mail" application to use them.
- View our Other Apps - Pressing the "View our Other Apps" button will bring you to Balbus Speech's applications in the iTunes app store.
- Visit the Fluently Website - Pressing this button will bring you to the Fluently website. You must have internet access for this option.
- Tell a Friend - Pressing this button will open an e-mail form via the "Mail" application to recommend the application to your friends with a pre-written paragraph. You must have internet access for this option and your e-mail connected to the "Mail" application.
- Rate This App - Pressing "Rate this App" will bring you to Fluently in the iTunes app store so that you can rate it. You must have internet access and sign in with your Apple ID to rate the application.
- Visit the Balbus Speech Website - Press the "Made With Love by: Balbus Speech" button at the bottom of the "Settings" Menu to visit Balbus Speech's website. You must have internet access for this option.
- This application allows for self-monitoring of ones' speech in relation to fluency. A user can monitor his or her own speech and practice skills such as easy onset and light contact in the speech room as well as at home.
- The application is simple to use. It only has one button in the middle and a sliding sensitivity bar. In addition, the red and green colors are easy to understand.
- The application is not too busy. It is a great visual tool that has a clean background and is very professional looking.
- You can adjust the sliding sensitivity bar depending on the clients' needs.
- There is a user guide for the application online.
- I would prefer the user guide to be included within the application instead of solely on a website.
- I would LOVE to learn more about the algorithms used to judge disfluencies/hard contacts (without revealing all of the secrets of course) so that I could know how to more effectively use this application with my students!
- Fluency - This application is primarily to be used with people who stutter. Use the application to help a user self-monitor his or her own speech in relation to fluency. Set the sensitivity to the clients' needs. The client can use the application in speech therapy or at home (with prior consultation from an SLP) to practice light contact and easy onsets.
- Voice - Use this application to help a user self-monitor his or her voice and practice vocal strategies related to quick, loud, or harsh voicing and practice at home (with prior consultation from an SLP).
Fluently is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and iPad Mini for $9.99.
Consonantly Speaking was given a copy of this application to review. No other form of compensation was received.
Behind the Scenes Interview
The Appy Ladies recently interviewed Jack McDermott, Founder/CEO of Balbus Speech, about Fluently. To read their behind the scenes interview, visit their website.