Imagine a future where you are never truly alone. Even when your spouse is on a business trip or your children are away at summer camp, you will always have someone (or something) to talk to. In the morning, you could ask the microwave to heat up a bowl of oatmeal. In your car, you could tell your stereo to put on some ’90s music. And when you walk into the office, you could ask your smartphone, “What’s on my calendar today?”
This is increasingly the world the tech industry is building with a bloating portfolio of devices that can react to voice commands — and that the companies will be pitching to you even more in 2019.
Is This the End of the Age of Apple? We need the next wave of innovation, and we need it now.
If anything, MedMen, on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Calif., looks just like an Apple Store. It’s decked out with blond wood tables on which a range of products are artfully displayed — the Puffco Peak portable vaporizer, an electronic Dosist vape pen, the latest issue of Ember magazine and, of course, so much weed delivered in an astonishing variety of ways, from tinctures to gummy bears to cookies to just plain joints. A crowd of customers is attended to by cheerful staff members decked out in jaunty red hoodies and carrying iPads. “Let’s be buds” urges a sign on one table.