Google today launched a nice new Assistant feature called My Storytime that lets parents simulate reading to their kids when one parent is away from home. A parent will be able to record themselves reading chapters of stories, and the other parent (or babysitter) can ask Google Nest to read those recordings to the kids.
Google says that, once the feature is set up, the person at home just has to say “Hey Google, talk to My Storytime” to their Google Nest, and they will be able to pick the recording of the chapter they want to listen to with their children.
Recording a story takes a bit of initial setup, but it’s pretty easy to do. Visit the My Storytime website, log into your Google account that’s connected to your Nest speaker, and you’ll be prompted to make a number of short recordings to help guide storytime through your Nest, including phrases like: “Which story would you like to hear?” and “Should we keep reading, listen to that chapter again, or read a different story?”
Once you’ve recorded those, you’ll build a module for a specific story and then you can record yourself reading entire chapters of the book. Those recordings will also be saved on your My Storytime page if you and your family want to listen to them that way. Google says the files are saved securely in the cloud and can only be accessed by the people you share them with.
I don’t have a Nest device, so I wasn’t able to test asking to hear the story recordings on one. But the short clips I recorded sounded just fine from the web interface, so I assume they would sound good from a Nest device as well.
This feature could be a great way to keep families connected when they have to be apart. You can get an idea of how it works in practice in this video from Google: