Google has launched a new feature called My Storytime for Google Assistant, which is aimed at families apart to tell stories to one another.
The feature was inspired by an active military family in the United States, the Olivers, to read stories together when the father of the household was deployed overseas. My Storytime can also be helpful for parents who travel for work or can’t be there for their kids at story time.
Google Canada research from October 2019 says “68% of mothers and 45% of fathers say they participate in their young child’s bedtime routine nightly.” For those who can’t control whether they are home or not, Google says this is why My Storytime is here to enable playback of pre-recorded stories.
To use My Storytime, you need to log in with your Google account over at MyStorytime.com. You can also ask Google Assistant on a smart speaker to help create one for you. Before you do this, you need to enable Personal Results within the Google Home app for your device.
To do this on iOS, launch the Google Home app, at the bottom tap ‘Home’, then tap your Google device. Next, tap the Settings icon and under the section ‘More’, turn on Personal results.
Next, ask your Google speaker “Hey Google, talk to my story time.” Google Assistant will ask to create an account for you, which requires sharing your name, email and profile picture, followed up with an email confirmation.
Next, over on mystorytime.com, you then use your device’s microphone to make 10 recordings, such as greetings and responses for your child or loved one to hear. You’ll ask things such as “Which story would you like to hear” and other verbal commands for Google Assistant to say to your child.
Next, you’ll write down the title and author of the story, and start recording yourself reading the entire book or chapters. You’ll also record prompts asking your child whether you want to keep reading, listen to the chapter again, or read a new story.
You can then repeat these steps for each story and build up your My Storytime library. Once complete, your child can just ask Google Assistant, “Hey Google, talk to my story time” and it’ll prompt what book your child wants to read. Your child can just speak the title or even the author and Google Assistant will know what book to read.
When a story is chosen, it plays the audio and if you have a Google speaker with a display, such as the Nest Hub, you can pause the story via on-screen controls.
For those who can’t be there for their children at bedtime routines, this is something worth trying out. It does take some time to set up but it would be a pretty awesome surprise for a child to try when you’re away.
Check out the video below to see the inspiration for Google My Storytime: