Google Assistant is turning smart homes into smart schools

The first months of the year saw workers and offices thrown into chaos trying to adjust to new work from home and remote work arrangements. Now it's almost time for schools to experience that same transition, hopefully a little less jarring thanks to months of preparation and planning. Systems and products are now in place that can help bring order to what would otherwise be chaos as kids start schooling from home and Google Assistant is right there at your beck and call, quite literally, too!

Setting boundaries has been one of the hardest things to do as offices and schools moved from dedicated spaces into our houses. Getting reminded about what should be happening when can go a long way in keeping everyone on top of each others' schedules. The new Family Bell feature provides a way to give visual and audio reminders when virtual classes start or when it's time for the next subject to be tackled.

You can even tie these reminders with the rest of your smart home. You can play some ambient school sounds of children running through hallways and brighten the room in your kids' preferred colors. You can even ask Google Assistant not only to set reminders but to use some popular characters' voices to quickly grab their attention.

That phrase about being all work and no play applies even more strongly to young ones studying. When it's time to take a break or to grab some snacks, Google Assistant can easily broadcast your messages and calls to all connected smart speakers and smart displays around the house. And when it's time to unwind at night or during the weekend, you can ask it to play some games that can be both fun and educational at the same time.

Google Assistant's new Family Bell is rolling out now to users in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and India in English. Broadcasting, which was previously on a limited rollout, is now available to all Assistant-enabled devices globally, also in English only.