If you're hoping to ever be able to control a full Iron Man -style monitor array with just a cheap laptop on your desk, check out the latest standards published by VESA. The updated DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 supports a huge amount of video data over the increasingly standard USB-C cable interface.
The new specification allows part of the rails in the cable that were previously reserved for data (such as external hard drives or network cards) to be mapped to full video output in the alternative mode. This allows the DisplayPort standard to drive a huge amount of pixels across a range of monitors over a single cable. The maximum resolution for a single monitor would theoretically be 1
Other configurations would also be possible. With 80 GB of total video bandwidth (using both the up and down lanes), DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 could theoretically handle three 144 Hz 4K monitors on a single cable without breaking a sweat. The standard is compatible with USB 4.0, which will use the same cable connections as the current USB-C. It will also be compatible with existing DisplayPort connections on the display side, which means it will also work with cheaper displays.
When can we use this fantastic new monitor stand? Not in a while. VESA did not give a date to finalize the specification, and these kind of cable and interface upgrades are always quite lengthy. I'd say two years – at least – is the fastest we can hope to see on consumer devices.
Source: VESA via The Verge