Types Of Input Devices And Their Functions

“An input device sends information to a computer system for processing. Input devices only permit access to the computer to enter data”. For example, a keyboard sends electrical signals and the computer receives input. The signals are then interpreted and displayed by a computer, or the output of those signals is viewed as text or images on a monitor.

Types Of Input Devices

Major Types of Input Devices are:

  • Direct Input Devices
  • Indirect Input Devices

Direct Input Devices: Hard disks, Optical disks, and Floppy disks are called direct input devices. These devices store information in binary form (zeros and ones).

Indirect Input Devices: Keyboards and scanners are called Indirect Input Devices. These devices input data in the form of signs and letters to a computer. A computer does not understand the signs and letters. These signs and letters must be translated into computer language before they enter the computer.

Functions of Input Devices

The function of input devices in the computer is that these devices are used to enter the information into a computer system. Input devices allow the users to interact with computer components, by using different types of information. The data that can be entered through these devices consist of audio, image, or even video. These input devices are often considered as a type of computer peripheral, and the other types include output devices and storage devices.

Examples Of Input Devices

Here is the main input devices list:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Scanner
  •  Trackball / Touchpad
  • Pointing Stick
  • Light Pen/ Stylus
  • Digitizer
  • Microphone
  • Bar Code Readers
  • Digital Camera
  • Steering Wheel
  • Webcam
  • Paddle
  • Touch Screen
  • Speech Recognition Software
  • VR
  • Modems
  • Optical Disc Drive
  • Biometric Devices
  • Keyboard

A keyboard is a tool designed for better human-computer interaction and as an input device, used to enter text, characters, and other commands into a computer. The keyboard is basically designed based on the idea of a typewriter. Different types of keyboards are available based on the nature of the work.

On the keyboard, each key or button has a unique special symbol or character. Some functions of symbols need pressing multiple buttons at the same time In some devices like Tablet PCs, the keyboard is present virtually inside the tablet to operate our computer system.

  • Mouse

A mouse is one of the main hardware components of any computer system. This important piece is also known as the computer mouse because of its great resemblance to mice. This small piece of hardware is an interface between the user and the graphical environment of the computer system. It controls the cursor and allows computer users to select and move texts, icons, and files on the compute

  • Scanner

It is a device that can convert text documents & images into files that can be managed and stored on a computer. This device can use special programs (Optical Character Recognition) to convert the scanned text into a plain text file that can be edited and saved as a normal computer document. Scanners are not limited to documents and images. There are even scanners for scanning maps, books, camera negatives, and more.

  • Trackball / Touchpad

A touchpad is a pointing device that is organized with a touch sensor or surface. The movement and position of the user’s fingers on this surface become used in a similar way to a mouse to interact with the device. The trackball is another name that is rarely used as a replacement for the Touchpad.

  • Pointing Stick

It is a piece similar to a pencil eraser that exists between the letters H, G, and B on some keyboards (mostly in quality computers). This device does the job of the mouse and by applying a little pressure to it, the cursor moves in the same direction on the screen.

  • Joystick

A joystick consists of a handle that moves at one end of a circle and sends its angle information to the computer in two or three dimensions. Joysticks are commonly used to control movement and control in computer games, and many have built-in buttons for various commands.

  • Light Pen/ Stylus

Light Pen is a stylus-shaped computer input device that uses its sensitivity to light to change data, select the text, or modify it. This device is used with PDAs and other hand-held devices to navigate programs and enter information on a screen. The original form of this device was a CRT monitor that was used to manipulate information.

  • Digitizer

A digitizer is a device that converts continuous image lines into digital code. This device is mostly used to transfer maps and shapes to a computer and convert a shape or image into computer digits. It enables the user to draw images and graphics using the stylus as we draw on paper with a pencil.

The images or graphics drawn on the digitizer appear on the computer monitor or display screen. The software converts the touch inputs into lines and can also convert handwritten text to typewritten words.

  • Microphone

The microphone is used to input audio to any PC. The microphone captures the sound and translates it into electrical impulses that can then be encoded and stored.

  • Bar Code Readers

Barcode is an encoded set of lines and spaces of different widths that can be scanned and interpreted as numbers to identify a product. There are 2 types of barcodes: linear and data matrix. Barcode readers or Optical readers are mostly used in the supermarket to get the information of the product using a numeric code.

  • Digital Camera

A digital camera is an electronic device that usually uses CCD or CMOS sensors to capture and store images instead of photographic film. The image captured by the sensor is sent to the camera’s memory for use in several steps.

  • Steering Wheel

A Steering wheel is a mostly used input device within racing video games like car racing games. It works just like the real steering wheel by allowing you to turn right or left. A steering wheel comes with acceleration and brake pedal devices as well as a mechanism for shifting gears. Thus, it brings a new advancement in playing car racing games.

  • Webcam

It is often used in cases such as Internet chat and videoconferencing. This simple camera connected to your computer and the information received showed on the screen. .  It can also be used to take digital pictures on computers. New PCs and laptops are now come with an internal webcam.

  • Paddle

It’s a very simple input device mostly used for playing games. It consists of a wheel that is held by hand and looks similar to a volume knob that is used to increase or decrease the volume. The paddle moves or controls the cursor or is used to move objects back-and-forth motion inside a game. It is mostly used as an alternative to the joystick.

  • Touch Screen

The touch screen works in such a way that the user, by touching or pressing a specific point, gives commands that are sent to the processor through an electric current below the touch screen. Then the pre-specified program will be executed to press the corresponding point with this touch.

But different types of touch screens work differently. For example, the touch screen function of Smartphones is different from the touch screen of an ATM.

  • Speech Recognition Software

Speech recognition or convert voice to text software uses computers and artificial intelligence to recognize words and expressions of the human voice and convert them to text as output. The Speech recognition technology is very useful for people who cannot type.

  • VR

VR stands for virtual reality. Virtual reality means experiencing things through the computer that have no external reality. The concept of Virtual Reality (VR) is the simulation of a world separate from reality.

VR allows the user to enter a space different from his surroundings and have the desired experience; an experience that can be fun and entertaining, scientific and educational. A person can interact within this artificial environment using some input devices such as headsets, gloves, headphones, etc

  • Modems

The modem is rooted in the words Modulator and Demodulator. In fact, it can be said that a modem is a hardware device whose job is to convert digital signals to analog and vice versa. The modem device converts data received from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) into data that can be used by mobile phones, laptops, or other network equipment.

  • Optical Disc Drive

An optical drive is a device used to read or write data to CDs and DVDs. These devices are also able to erase data on certain CDs and DVDs and put new information back on them.

  • Biometric Devices

Biometrics system is involved in the study of the biological characteristics of a person such as fingerprints, eye cornea, face structure, etc. Certain biological characteristics of a human being can be used to verify the assumed identity of a person.

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