▲ ▼ Consumer level local distributed computing
Current Smartphones, Tablets for most is more powerful(compute) than their old computers. At this point we should be able to distribute the computing load across all our capable devices. Distributed Computing is now limited to scientific research, data science, machine learning and I feel it's high time we use it for solving some consumer problems.
I use low power computers by choice for my climate goals, So I have several low power task specific computing devices. Consider able to compress 2TB folder consisting of disjoint files using the CPU of computer, smartphone, tablet etc. If Handbrake could use distributed computing then the encoding could be much faster. Network is an Achilles heel for distributed computing, but average network bandwidth in home networks have been growing steadily.
The manufacturers themselves are unlikely to create an interoperable environment, but perhaps applications which function in the user space could fulfill this need gap.
I think you're underestimating network latency. If reading from the cache is like talking to a person face-to-face, then reading from disk is like sending a letter, and reading over the network is like sending a rocket to the moon :P
So for the example you gave, with 1 Gbps upload speed (pretty fast even by today's standards) then a 16Tb folder would take 16,000 seconds = almost 4 1/2 hours just to send to one other device. So unless the compression task would take over 9 hours and is completely parallel (no compression algorithm is) then its faster to just do it on one machine. You could send it over to more than one other device, but then the transmission time would increase (albeit non-linearly) and you'll see lower percentage gains in compute time due to Amdahl's Law.
That being said, solutions for what you're talking about do exist! See Hadoop/Apache Spark for a distributed, scalable, general-purpose mapreduce framework. I'm sure Azure/AWS have more modern solutions as well.
RentMyCPU - https://github.com/franklbt/RentMyCPU seems to run webassembly files across devices to achieve distributed computing and the associated commercial service seems to add incentives to those who lend their compute power.
I haven't tried this yet, But I'm eager to do so soon.