It occurred to me when I wrote the articles on WHDI and HDBaseT that in the very near future all monitors will be Ethernet connected. This may not seem like a big deal but it will change the way we perceive and use computers. Display devices will become generic display devices both at home and in the office.
With Ethernet connected displays, I can direct my computer to display itself on any display device that it can see. Keyboards and mice can be local to the computer I am using or they too can be Ethernet connected devices. By having everything on the network the parts of the computer no longer have to be in the same place. The computer can be virtual or real, can be located in a server room or a cloud and it can be a Mac or a PC.
This could impact operating systems because there would be new pressure to keep user Applications and data both local and portable. Near Field Communication could be used to associate a keyboard with a display device identifying the user and requesting a networked compute resource.
I can imagine walking into my future office with my keyboard, pressing the start key and having my monitor come to life with my desktop exactly how I left it the night before. My keyboard would contain all the necessary information for the virtual compute resource to reconfigure itself to look like my computer. When I go home, the same keyboard would reconfigure a home resource to do the same thing.
Displays in my home would all be generic Ethernet connected devices so I could use the big screen in the family room as my computer or a smaller screen in my home office. Compute resources become a generic box with nothing but a single Ethernet connection. The Ethernet connection could be wireless so the only wire connected to the box would be AC power. The box could live anywhere as access to the physical box is no longer required.
Depending on the compute resource, the same box could host multiple OS’ and desktops. Both my wife and I could be connected to a single box running two completely different OS’. The TV tuner would be virtual with content both local and remote on networked servers. My only phone will be my wireless device which will be WIFI connected when at home. My home phone number will be hosted by an Internet Telephony Service Provider (The same way it is now) and I will be able to call anywhere in the world for cents a minute (I already do that now so no big surprise there).