Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, has rehired Yoky Matsuoka after she served briefly with Apple's health initiatives division. Matsuoka – a Harvard-educated tech expert who specializes in artificial intelligence and robotics – had worked with Alphabet's Nest Labs between 2010 and 2015 as Vice President of Technology. Prior to that, she had worked for about a year with Google, as co-founder of Google's X Lab. She left the company in 2015, signing on as CEO of Quanttus – before signing on with Apple in May of 2016. Matsuoka left Apple later in that same year and has now rejoined Alphabet. Not surprisingly, Matsuoka has been reassigned to Nest Labs. This time, however, she holds the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
As a CTO, Matsuoka's responsibilities will include making decisions concerning which technologies that will be incorporated into Nest's products and working with associated teams to create long-term goals for the company's products. Nest's primary specialization is in creating technology products for the connected home that can be controlled from a number of platforms, including Android. That currently includes internet-enabled security camera systems, smart home thermostats, and intelligent smoke alarm units. This also includes ensuring that the products Nest releases are smart enough to play well with other smart home products from other companies. Matsuoka will also be responsible for making decisions that are directly tied to the technology such as sensors and other components that go into those products. She will have some say in other aspects of the products as they pertain to technology – and that includes software such as the machine learning that Nest's connected thermostats are known for. Machine learning aspects, in addition to the hardware aspects, are something that Matsuoka excels at. Back in 2000, a robotic arm that Matsuoka was responsible for "productizing" was awarded the distinction of being the Guinness Book of World Records "most advanced robotic arm." It's a big responsibility to take on, but Matsuoka's history shows her to be more than capable of handling it.
Bringing back Matsuoka is a good sign for Nest Labs. She is actually cited as being directly responsible for the earlier-mentioned machine learning found in Nest's thermostats during her previous work with the company. With the Internet of Things just starting to really take off, Nest needs experts who create innovation and steer the company to success. Yoky Matsuoka has shown time and again that she fits that mold perfectly.