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Google Connects Families Through Storytime
What if your child could simply ask for a bedtime story from their deployed mom or dad every night and one would play?
Now, thanks to Google's My Storytime, that can happen.
When military spouse Jennifer Oliver's husband was deployed, she found herself downloading audio files one by one and casting them on their Google Nest Mini to play to her kids. She knew there had to be a better way. She posted on message boards looking for guidance and, when there wasn't a solution, Google asked her and her daughters to come to Portland to help develop one.
"We helped them design something called My Storytime -- a new Google Assistant Action that makes it easier for pre-recorded stories to be played back home for loved ones," Oliver shared in a blog post for Google.
"No matter where you are," she wrote, "you can visit MyStorytime.com to create a private account for your family and begin building your library of recorded stories. And once shared with the parent back home, all they have to say is, 'Hey Google, talk to My Storytime' to hear your personal stories."
With 100,000 military parents deploying annually and leaving 250,000 kids at home, United Through Reading estimates that roughly 40 million bedtime stories are missed each year by military children. UTR has done an awesome job of bridging that gap by enabling deployed parents to record videos of themselves reading.
With My Storytime, Google Nest will also help close that divide, allowing families spending time apart to feel that much closer.
You've all heard of the Air Force's ultra-high-security, super-secret base in Nevada, known simply as "Area 51?" Well, late one afternoon, the Air Force folks out at Area 51 were very surprised to see a Cessna landing at their "secret" base. They immediately impounded the aircraft and hauled the pilot into an interrogation room. The pilot's story was that he took off from Vegas, got lost, and spotted the Base just as he was about to run out of fuel. The Air Force started a full FBI background check on the pilot and held him overnight during the investigation. By the next day, they were finally convinced that the pilot really was lost and wasn't a spy. They gassed up his airplane, gave him a terrifying "you-did-not-see-a-base" briefing, complete with threats of spending the rest of his life in prison, told him Vegas was that-a-way on such-and-such a heading, and sent him on his way. The day after that though, to the total disbelief of the Air Force, the same Cessna showed up again. Once again, the MP's surrounded the plane... Only this time there were two people in the plane. The same pilot jumped out and said, "Do anything you want to me, but my wife is in the plane and you have to tell her where I was last night!"