Meet Jacobi Anstruther, CEO & Founder at IRIS Audio Technologies: The Company Behind Voice Isolation App IRIS Clarity

IRIS is an audio technology company with the mission to enable the world to ‘Listen Well’. Our suite of patented products leverages decades of research into the effects of sound on the brain, prioritising focus, productivity, and wellness for all. From this, we created IRIS Clarity, an AI-powered desktop app that removes distracting background noise from your video meetings and customer calls.

Real-time and bi-directional, IRIS Clarity allows participants on both sides of a call to immediately enjoy clearer sound, no matter where they are. It improves focus, engagement, and wellbeing, bringing control to otherwise uncontrollable environments.
 
 
IRIS Clarity Logo
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
Music has always been a passion for me. I’ve been deeply involved in the music industry for over 15 years, both as a music producer and DJ, and I’ve seen how music is at the centre of every culture. It helps to motivate us, focus us, and relax us, and I felt strongly that this deep, integral relationship music has with our mind, body, and emotions hadn’t yet been fully explored. The idea for IRIS came to me in 2016, while building a music festival in California that effectively blended music and social change, with audio quality at its heart. I realised my various experiences in the music and audio space gave me a unique perspective to explore how audio quality affects aspects like emotional response, information retention, and engagement.

In launching IRIS, we started to study these relationships more, to understand what was missing and how we could augment the listening experience to engage people more. Sound enhances every emotion and shapes every experience. In the best cases, it uplifts and moves us. In the worst, it frustrates and harms us. Through our deep understanding of the science of sound, we help people find focus, engagement, and wellbeing wherever they listen — and that’s pretty much everywhere.
 

 

How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

 
IRIS products are underpinned by a revolutionary technology that is scientifically proven to enhance our neurological response to audio. Our software solutions increase engagement and absorption by recreating the effects of sound, as experienced in a live environment, across all digital content.

Our first product was the multi award-winning IRIS Flow Headphones. The headphones incorporated IRIS’ patented technology to recreate the spatial sound wave information that is typically lost in modern file compression, drastically improving the listener’s experience of the audio.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic struck almost as soon as we launched, disrupting lives and businesses everywhere — including our own. As everyone adjusted to the new normal — working from home, spending hours on Zoom, Teams and Meet calls, and suffering through the frustrating “can you hear me now” dance — we realised that our technology could solve this new problem of broken communication, reduced productivity, and declining wellbeing.

IRIS engineers, machine learning experts, and product designers put the existing model to work, adapting and testing it with barking dogs, busy traffic, crying babies, loud construction, etc. The result is our latest product: IRIS Clarity. Designed as a super simple desktop application, IRIS Clarity is a powerful AI voice isolation solution that puts people in control of uncontrollable environments, improving communication, productivity, and engagement.
 

What can we hope to see from IRIS Clarity in the future?

 
At IRIS, we’re pioneering the next stage in the evolution of human-digital audio experiences, to empower people and businesses everywhere to Listen Well. Starting with IRIS Clarity, we want to fix the uncontrollable environment, restoring focus across industries, including small-to-large enterprises, call centres, aviation, emergency services, and racing.

Supported by IRIS-funded research on neurological audio stimuli, we aim to create real-life connections between human and audio, thus increasing engagement. Our long-term vision for the company is to use IRIS technology to augment all interactions with audio, enhancing wellbeing for all.