What it is: A new, currently immature and costly, form of computer processing based on quantum effects.This type of computing is able to solve highly complex problems that are currently unsolvable within reasonable time constraints.
What is does: Quantum computers are optimized for solving certain types of problems, especially those of encryption, communication, and complex system modeling. Since the foundations of quantum computing are fundamentally different from classical computing, new programming paradigms and languages are both enabled and required. Quantum processors are constructed from individual electrons, photons, trapped ions, semiconducting circuits, etc. They generally must maintain temperatures approaching absolute zero to achieve a quantum state.
Why it matters: Enables new kinds of problems to be solved, particularly those involving massive parallelism.
What to do about it: Keep a watch until costs fall and clear use cases emerge.