100 IoM volunteers with hearing loss needed for mobile tech launch

 Isle of Man first to benefit from Goshawk audio product which has global potential

Volunteers here on the Isle of Man have a chance to take part in a commercial ‘soft launch’ of a product that has the potential to change the lives of millions of people with hearing loss.

Isle of Man-based company Goshawk Communications is in the final stages of testing its audio technology that uses special software to fine tune the sound quality of mobile phone calls. Several clinical trials have already proven the effectiveness of the software. Now, the company wants to recruit 100 volunteers who live on the Island to take part in a four-week ‘soft launch’ during May before the product is launched on the market this summer. Globally, it’s estimated that one in six people suffer varying degrees of hearing loss – there are around 11 million in the UK, and over 12,000 people in the Isle of Man.

As someone who suffers from hearing loss, Goshawk Communications CEO, Matthew Turner, is passionate about the benefits this technology can bring. He said: “We have spent a lot of time and effort developing our product – including several clinical trials – and we now believe it is market ready, but we would like feedback from people with hearing loss to confirm this, hence the reason for a soft launch. The process involved for volunteers is very simple. There are a few straight-forward formalities to complete, then we conduct a hearing test which allows us to create a digital profile which identifies the type of sounds the person is struggling to hear. This profile is deployed within the Manx Telecom network and our software identifies incoming and outgoing calls for that person, and personalised adjustments to the audio dynamics of the call are then made which ultimately leads to a clearer voice call.”

Volunteers must have some form of hearing loss and be a Manx Telecom Pay Monthly mobile contract customer. However, for anyone who wants to volunteer but isn’t currently a Manx Telecom Pay Monthly mobile contract customer, there is an option for them to sign-up for a SIM only, 30 day commitment, pay monthly mobile service which has been set-up specifically to support the soft-launch and is available for participants through the usual Manx Telecom sales channels. This means that anyone has the chance to check whether the product is going to give them an enhanced experience when using a mobile, before committing to a longer term contract.

To find out more, or to volunteer, contact Sally Shaw at  or by phoning 07739 581059. Ideas For Ears is a not-for-profit social enterprise that helps people with hearing loss – it has helped co-ordinate volunteers for clinical trials of Goshawk’s technology.

The full launch of the Goshawk product is scheduled for this summer when it will be exclusively available to Manx Telecom Pay Monthly mobile customers using their phones on-Island. Initially, it will be aimed at people with hearing loss, but it has many other potential applications for anyone who needs improved mobile call sound quality, for example, people in noisy working environments such as construction, aviation, heavy industry, and motorsport, or even VIPs who just want the best possible mobile sound quality.

Goshawk Communications combines intellectual property originally developed by its own team, with the commercial and technological capability of Vannin Ventures which is Manx Telecom’s business incubator that has a mission to identify new long-term growth opportunities.