This week's book giveaway is in the Programmer Certification forum. We're giving away four copies of OCP Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 11 Programmer I Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-815 and have Jeanne Boyarsky & Scott Selikoff on-line! See this thread for details.
Hi Chris! Good to hear from you.
There are several "quantum internet" projects underway, and it's a hot topic of research. There are even satellite-based qubit transmission projects. One of the big challenges is that you need to send single photons (or qubits, anyway), and cannot use repeaters. That's the catch; anything which amplifies the signal will crush the quantum state, rendering it useless. The type of repeater normally considered for things like quantum encryption is a "trusted node" (basically a manned military bunker) which decrypts the data and then re-encrypts it.
As a specific answer to your questions, here are some guesses from me.
Note that nothing here claims there will be FTL communication. :]
A Completely Made-up Timeline of Home QPU Technology:
Home hardware: Internet-connected PC
Neat things you might be able to do: Classical communication with a computer which controls a QPU. This allows you to write programs, execute them, and receive results. You can do this today, using the book sample code and the IBM Q Experience. This will also allow your mobile phone to transparently make use of QPUs without you realizing it. QRNG (quantum random number generation) which is neat, but pretty basic for a quantum computer.
Home hardware: Optical fiber output (no input) port on your laptop or router, capable of sending 6 different raw single-qubit states (requires premium internet fiber package with extra sports channels)
Neat things you might be able to do: Ability to perform QKD-based quantum encryption. Ability to perform BQC (blind quantum computation) on a remote QPU, which is where the remote QPU does not know what operations you've asked it to run, and runs them anyway. This is a type of security which doesn't make sense on classical computers. A bunch of other QPU applications and experiments cooler than just digital-in/digital-out computation.
When: Also soonish
Home hardware: Hardware upgrade to optical fiber output (no input) port on your laptop or router with a mini-QPU which can generate, entangle, and measure arbitrarily rotated raw photonic qubits.
Neat things you might be able to do: Bi-directional quantum teleportation. Not sure why this is useful outside of a laboratory setting. Qubits may be stored in a spool of optical fiber, for a couple of nanoseconds per foot of fiber. Also enables all-local QRNG, so you can add a whole new level of randomness to your daily life.
When: Not as soon
Home hardware: Optical fiber bidirectional I/O port on your laptop or router, with a mini-QPU which can generate, entangle, and measure raw photonic qubits.
Neat things you might be able to do: Ability to function peer-to-peer, without a server-side QPU.
When: Even less soon
Home hardware: 1K-qubyte Fault-tolerant QPU the size of a desk, connected to laptop via digital and optical ports. $70k or so.
Neat things you might be able to do: Full-on QPU mayhem in the home.
When: 22 years after that
Home hardware: 1M-qubyte Fault-tolerant QPU inside your phone.
Neat things you might be able to do: No idea what this is for. Selfies maybe?
Note that the moment one of the readers of our book has an unexpected insight and invents the Best QPU Application Ever™️, then this table will require revision.
Maybe shape-shifting materials, doors with no hinges, or something from Diamond Age?