Although the ability to communicate remotely to my parents (in-bound) was not on my list of objectives, having been made aware of the “Broadcast” function I’d thought I give it a try.
Couple of things came to light when trying to set this up.
Original purpose and design
From a google home perspective the intention is to let let you to broadcast to multiple home units across your home using google assistant on a smartphone. See TechCrunch article for an example, i.e. as they suggest to let all rooms know dinner is ready!
What I might to use it for in this application
The scenario I can see this useful for, is that often (50% of time) my mother’s mobile phone is out of coverage in the house, meaning I cannot reach her on that. They also often leave the house phone out of charging cradle and it runs flat…so you can’t reach them.
But if you could ask google assistant to “Broadcast [person] is trying to call you and unable to reach you. Can you give [person] a call as soon as possible”
Problems encountered (and work around)
First issue was that the smartphone I used to set-up the set-up cannot run the google assistant application (older version of android). So although you can configure and set-up a home unit and manage it, you cannot run assistant – which would be how you would trigger broadcast remotely!
But, on my primary phone I do have assistant installed and running – but to my account. But it seems you can swap google accounts for assitant – so by adding the google account for the remote set-up I’m able in theory to broadcast a message to the unit from remotely. To do this click the 3 dots icon and select Account and add the relevant account you need to access to communicate with unit.