If you’re a parent who’s missed being able to give your kids a semblance of school-like schedule while they’ve been holed up at home, Google’s latest features may be able to help. The company today announced a new tool called Family Bell that can bring a familiar school bell experience to your home. It will work on all Assistant-enabled smart speakers and displays, including third-party devices from Lenovo and JBL. Google also unveiled features like a daily “Animal of the day” activity, Broadcast Targeting and a new command that kicks off a routine to start the school day. All of these are rolling out today, if not later this week, and will be available in English in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and India.
With Family Bell, you can ask the Assistant to “create a family bell” at specific times of day and have the chime play on the devices you select. If you have multiple Google devices in your home, you could set a “Recess time” bell at noon in your kid’s room or your study, for example, but leave your office speaker silent. You can also set these bells to repeat on whichever days of the week you wish — just as you would set an alarm on your phone. There isn’t a limit to the number of bells you can set, and you can also make multiple bells go off at the same time. So say you want a chime to go off when you’re due for a virtual PTA meeting at the same time your child should begin their next lesson, you can create a bell for each.