MTclearSound: Manx Telecom launches global first

in mobile technology for people with hearing loss

Leading audiology professor from Cambridge University says product has ‘global significance’

Manx Telecom is launching a global first in the field of mobile technology with a new product – called     MT clearSound – that can provide life-changing benefits for people with varying degrees of hearing loss.

MT clearSound uses innovative mobile technology specially designed software to create a personal profile tailored to an individual’s hearing ability, whether or not they have medically diagnosed hearing loss. This profile fine tunes speech in all incoming and outgoing calls on the Manx Telecom mobile network.

The technology behind MT clearSound is located within the company’s mobile network and requires no purchase or installation of specialist equipment by the customer.

In a clinical trial carried out in 2018, 90% of the volunteers taking part agreed that speech was clearer and easier to hear when using the product.

MT clearSound has been researched, trialled and developed in the Isle of Man by Manx Telecom – working in partnership with Goshawk Communications which is part of the Manx Telecom group – and is backed by leading medical professionals.

Manx Telecom Pay Monthly mobile customers will be the first in the world to use the product – it is being offered initially as a value added service at no extra cost.

Manx Telecom CEO Gary Lamb said: “There are up to 14,000 people on the Island with hearing loss, and millions around the world.  Many of those struggle to do something that most of us take for granted – having the confidence to talk to people on the phone knowing they can concentrate on the conversation rather than the frustration. Goshawk's technology can make a vast improvement to the quality of calls not only for the hard of hearing, but also for every mobile user who is seeking greater call clarity. This enabling, empowering, aspect of the product is why we chose the ‘now I can’ theme to spread the word about how we can help people whether they are using the phone for social or work purposes.”

The technology behind MT clearSound was originally developed by Mathew Turner, founder and CEO of Goshawk Communications. Matthew’s own experiences of having hearing loss inspired him to find a solution to problems he, and many others, experienced when making mobile phone calls. He said: “My frustration was trying to talk to my children, trying to talk to my family, or even in business – using a mobile phone became increasingly frustrating.”

In his pursuit of developing technology to solve the problem, Matthew engaged with one of the world’s leading authorities on auditory perception, Emeritus Professor Brian Moore from Cambridge University. “Thanks to his knowledge and expertise,” added Matthew, “we were able to generate the first algorithms to measure someone’s hearing loss over the telephone using a mobile network.”

Professor Moore developed the algorithms on which the Goshawk solution is based. He was a keynote speaker at the MT clearSound launch event and said: “MT clearSound has global significance – it has the potential to dramatically improve mobile phone communication for the millions of hearing-impaired people who currently struggle to hold a telephone conversation.”

MT clearSound can also provide an improved mobile voice call experience for people who do not have hearing loss, but want the best possible call clarity.

A UK launch of MT clearSound is planned for 2019.

Geraldine Willman, from Ballasalla, is one of the volunteers who took part in clinical trials which proved the effectiveness of MT clearSound. She said it’s made a massive difference and commented: “It just made it so much clearer – it really did. The nearest correlation would be putting glasses on – you put your glasses on and suddenly you can see wonderfully. It’s the same as that!”

Registration for MT ClearSound is via www.manxtelecom.com/nowican and only takes a few minutes. Following a simple hearing test to evaluate how the customer hears different sounds on their mobile phone, MT clearSound uses software to create a personalised profile tailored to the user’s hearing ability. This individual profile is retained for all future calls, but can be altered at any time if requirements change.

Manx Telecom Pay Monthly mobile customers who need help registering for MT clearSound can visit Manx Telecom’s Strand Street shop where staff will be happy to help.

Manx Telecom would like to thank the Isle of Man Government, in particular the Isle of Man’s Department of Health and Social Care’s Audiology Services team, the Manx Deaf Society and Ideas For Ears for the help in bringing this product to market.

FACTS AND STATS

Here are some of the fantastic results from the 2018 clinical trials of MT clearSound:

  • 90% of trialists agreed that speech was clearer and easier to hear when using the product

  • 78% of trialists said they wanted continue using the product

  • 89% of trialists agreed the product  should be available to everyone who has a hearing need

  • 80% of trialists said they felt stress free while using the product