Input Devices

Input device enables the user to send data, information, or control signals to a computer. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer receives the input and processes it to produce the output.

Some of the popular input devices are:

  1. Keyboard
  2. Mouse
  3. Scanner
  4. Joystick
  5. Light Pen
  6. Digitizer
  7. Microphone
  8. Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
  9. Optical Character Reader (OCR)
  10. Digital Camera
  11. etc

What is computer

Types of computer

1) Keyboard

he keyboard is a basic input device that is used to enter data into a computer or any other electronic device by pressing keys. It has different sets of keys for letters, numbers, characters, and functions. Keyboards are connected to a computer through USB or a Bluetooth device for wireless communication.

2) Mouse

The mouse is a hand-held input device which is used to move cursor or pointer across the screen. It is designed to be used on a flat surface and generally has left and right button and a scroll wheel between them. Laptop computers come with a touchpad that works as a mouse. It lets you control the movement of cursor or pointer by moving your finger over the touchpad. Some mouse comes with integrated features such as extra buttons to perform different buttons.

3) Scanner

The scanner uses the pictures and pages of text as input. It scans the picture or a document. The scanned picture or document then converted into a digital format or file and is displayed on the screen as an output. It uses optical character recognition techniques to convert images into digital ones. Some of the common types of scanners are as follows:

4) Joystick


A joystick is also a pointing input device like a mouse. It is made up of a stick with a spherical base. The base is fitted in a socket that allows free movement of the stick. The movement of stick controls the cursor or pointer on the screen.

5) Light Pen

Light Pen

A light pen is a computer input device that looks like a pen. The tip of the light pen contains a light-sensitive detector that enables the user to point to or select objects on the display screen. Its light sensitive tip detects the object location and sends the corresponding signals to the CPU. It is not compatible with LCD screens, so it is not in use today. It also helps you draw on the screen if needed. The first light pen was invented around 1955 as a part of the Whirlwind project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

6) Digitizer


Digitizer is a computer input device that has a flat surface and usually comes with a stylus. 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.

It can be used to capture handwritten signatures and data or images from taped papers. Furthermore, it is also used to receive information in the form of drawings and send output to a CAD (Computer-aided design) application and software like AutoCAD. Thus, it allows you to convert hand-drawn images into a format suitable for computer processing.

7) Microphone


The microphone is a computer input device that is used to input the sound. It receives the sound vibrations and converts them into audio signals or sends to a recording medium. The audio signals are converted into digital data and stored in the computer. The microphone also enables the user to telecommunicate with others. It is also used to add sound to presentations and with webcams for video conferencing. A microphone can capture audio waves in different ways;

8) Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)


MICR computer input device is designed to read the text printed with magnetic ink. MICR is a character recognition technology that makes use of special magnetized ink which is sensitive to magnetic fields. It is widely used in banks to process the cheques and other organizations where security is a major concern. It can process three hundred cheques in a minute with hundred-percent accuracy. The details on the bottom of the cheque (MICR No.) are written with magnetic ink. A laser printer with MICR toner can be used to print the magnetic ink.

The device reads the details and sends to a computer for processing. A document printed in magnetic ink is required to pass through a machine which magnetizes the ink, and the magnetic information is then translated into characters.

9) Optical Character Reader (OCR)


OCR computer input device is designed to convert the scanned images of handwritten, typed or printed text into digital text. It is widely used in offices and libraries to convert documents and books into electronic files.

It processes and copies the physical form of a document using a scanner. After copying the documents, the OCR software converts the documents into a two-color (black and white), version called bitmap. Then it is analyzed for light and dark areas, where the dark areas are selected as characters, and the light area is identified as background. It is widely used to convert hard copy legal or historic documents into PDFs. The converted documents can be edited if required like we edit documents created in ms word.

10) Digital camera:

Digital camera

It is a digital device as it captures images and records videos digitally and then stores them on a memory card. It is provided with an image sensor chip to capture images, as opposed to film used by traditional cameras. Besides this, a camera that is connected to your computer can also be called a digital camera.

It has photosensors to record light that enters the camera through the lens. When the light strikes the photosensors, each of the sensors returns the electrical current, which is used to create the images.

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