Once the remaining engineering challenges of quantum computing are resolved and optimal approaches established, not only will we see the growth of the quantum hardware manufacturing industry, but also the rise of associated areas.
These include industries such as quantum software development, quantum cloud computing (‘Quantum as a Service’ perhaps?), and certainly a plethora of consulting companies covering management, security/encryption and even marketing – all helping organisations to leverage the full power of the new technology.
But prior to that, even more powerful than a fully-realised quantum computing capability would be a secret fully-realised quantum computing capability. The NSA is apparently already well advanced.
Before any major success is announced, will there be the faintest tell-tale indications of quantum-aided performance? A national security secret mysteriously uncovered, an investment company experiencing implausibly great returns?
And will we see the creation of modern folklore in order to hide the existence of a secret quantum computer, like how the amazing ‘powers’ of carrots were used to hide the existence of radar in WWII? Maybe we’ll never know – but it will be fascinating to watch.
Quantum computing will not replace classical computing for most uses. Quantum mobile phones and laptops are unlikely and you won’t watch a movie on a quantum-powered television.
For most applications it would be serious overkill. But for certain critical purposes which require the use of particular types of algorithms, it will be completely and utterly game-changing, exponentially increasing the power of the computational toolset available to humanity and driving progress and productivity like a sonic boom before it.
Todd Tobias is Director of Business Projects at ANZ Markets