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Apple hires Google X founder

Apple has hired Yoky Matsuoka, the robotics expert who co-founded Google’s X labs and formerly served as Nest’s head of technology.

Such a CV would appear to give Matsuoka plenty of scope with a company of Apple’s resources, but according to Fortune she will be working specifically on the company’s health initiatives.

Matsuoka actually left Nest last year, and was headed for a role at Twitter. However, the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness disrupted those plans.

Apple says that Matsuoka will be working under chief operating officer Jeff Williams, who oversees the company’s health projects, which include HealthKit, ResearchKit, and CareKit.

Matsuoka has had a fascinating career that has incorporated numerous roles, from promising tennis player to professor of robotics to helping set up Google X labs (thus helping kickstart the company’s autonomous car efforts) and developing the user interface and learning algorithms for Nest.

Related: What is Google X?

But perhaps the most pertinent to her new position was her work to help develop the BarrettHand robotic arm at MIT, and her 2007 work in neurorobotics that helped disabled people and stroke sufferers to regain the use of their limbs.

If you didn’t realise that Apple was serious about health-based technology before, you certainly should now.

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