Google Nest lets you read to your kids even when you're apart

The new Assistant action was inspired by a military family.

The bedtime story is a cherished ritual between parents and their children, and one that hurts the most to miss when mom or dad are away. But now, Google Nest is launching a new Assistant action that will help keep story time on the agenda, no matter how far away you are from your kids.

Inspired by a military family in the US, My Storytime is a conversational action that lets you record stories when you're away, which are then instantly accessible back home on Google Nest devices. Record new stories or upload existing audio files to, and they'll be played back by saying "Hey Google, talk to My Storytime." All recordings are saved securely in the cloud, and only you and those you share them with can access them.

The idea for the action came from the Oliver family in Tennessee, who created a hack to listen to their dad's bedtime stories on a Nest Mini while he was deployed. According to Google, some 40 million bedtime stories are missed each year by military children, although My Storytime is not just for military families. Grandparents who live states away, nurses and police officers who work the night shift, and anyone who travels for work will be able to relate to the struggle of trying to make it home for bedtime.

As mom Jennifer Oliver says, "Nothing can replace Daddy being home, but hopefully My Storytime will make it just a little bit easier to get through the next deployment and that it brings some comfort to other families as well."