Google’s X Lab co-founder Yoky Matsuoka Joins Apple

Apple announced Yoky Matsuoka would work with them on Apple’s health projects. She has earlier won the MacArthur Genius Grant for her work in neurorobotics to help physically challenged individuals as well as those that suffered a stroke, regain the use of their limbs.

Yoky Matsuoka, Japanese by origin, moved to the United States as a teenager in pursuit of a career in tennis. Owing to injuries that cut short her future in playing tennis, she pursued her will to build a robot to play tennis by enrolling at MIT where she built the ground-breaking BarrettHand, a robotic arm.

Yoky spent a decade as an academic at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Washington as a professor of robotics.

She joined Google as one of the co-founders of the X Lab project and left a year later to join NEST in 2010, which was started by one of her former students Matt Rogers.

At NEST, she devised learning platforms and user interfaces for the company’s electronic products. When Yoky left Google in 2015 (who had purchased NEST in 2014), she was on her way to work with Twitter before she took ill.

Before her appointment with Apple, she put out a post on Medium mentioning she was spending time with her family, that she was well after her treatment for the undisclosed illness as well as that she would return to work in the technology industry.

The post dated May 2015, mentioned her love for technology and how it has been her passion. She further said she was going to take some time to construct her new-found life which she was blessed to have.

Yoky will help Apple develop its HomeKit framework which will help develop targeted health apps, its ResearchKit framework to better employ smartphones in monitoring the user’s health status and it’s CareKit framework which will enable betterments to the user’s care regime.