We're not suggesting that the Google engineers have spent the past few months being driven up the wall by their kids refusing to sit down and do their school work at home... but the new Google Assistant Family Bell feature will definitely help people that have.
The idea of Family Bell is that you can set up targeted broadcast messages, which will play on Google Home speakers or Smart Displays, for things like starting an online lesson, taking a break, sitting down for some reading time, breaking for lunch, end of the school day and even bedtime.
Of course, you don't have to use the scheduled reminders for home school based activities but that's one of the key use cases that Google is keen to push.
"One of my bells helps keep my son on track by saying, 'Hi superhero, itâs time for math'," explains Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product Management for the Google Assistant. "You can even have different bells go off at the same time on different devices - super helpful when both of my kids have various activities going on."
In the Google Home app there are preset alerts to choose from - recess, nap time or math time, for example - but you can also create your own entries for the Google Assistant to read out.
You can also have your Google Home Smart Displays show a school-themed visual and play "familiar sounds of school - like kids ruffling through their lockers" by saying âHey Google, start the school dayâ or âHey Google, schoolâs in session.â
Family Bell is rolling out for Google Home users across the US, UK, Canada, India and Australia now.
How to set up Google Family Bell
You can get started by saying, "Okay Google, set up Family Bell."
Or, you can set it all up using your smartphone via the Google Home app...
- Open the Google Home app
- Tap your Profile picture then tap Assistant settings >Assistant > Family Bell.
- Tap Add a bell and enter the details.
- Tap Create new bell.