What is an input device?
An input device is essentially a hardware device that sends data to a computer. Most input devices either interact with or control the computer in some way. The most common input devices are mouse and keyboard, but many others.
The main difference between an input device and an output device is that the former sends data to the computer, while the latter receives data from the computer. Input and output devices that provide computers with additional functionality. Examples of input devices include
- Digital Camera
- Light Pen
- Track Ball
The keyboard is the most common and very popular input device that helps a computer to input data. The layout of the keyboard is similar to that of a traditional typewriter, although some additional keys have been provided to perform additional tasks.
The keyboards are of two sizes 84 keys or 101/102 keys, but now keyboards with 104 keys or 108 keys are also available for Windows and Internet.
The keyboard keys are as follows –
|S.No||Keys & Description|
These keys include the letter keys (A-Z) and digit keys (09) which generally give the same layout as that of typewriters.
It is used to enter the numeric data or cursor movement. Generally, it consists of a set of 17 keys that are laid out in the same configuration used by most adding machines and calculators.
The twelve function keys are present on the keyboard which are arranged in a row at the top of the keyboard. Each function key has a unique meaning and is used for some specific purpose.
These keys provide cursor and screen control. It includes four directional arrow keys. Control keys also include Home, End, Insert, Delete, Page Up, Page Down, Control(Ctrl), Alternate(Alt), Escape(Esc).
|5||Special Purpose Keys|
Keyboard also contains some special purpose keys such as Enter, Shift, Caps Lock, Num Lock, Space bar, Tab, and Print Screen.
A mouse interacts with a computer through a process called “point and click”. Essentially, when the user moves the mouse over the mouse pad, the pointer moves in a similar direction on the computer’s monitor screen.
The concept of a computer mouse has its roots in trackball, a related indicator device was invented in 1946 that used a “roller ball” to control a pointer. Most modern computer mice have two buttons for clicking and a wheel in the middle for scrolling documents and web pages.
Also known as a trackpad, a touchpad is a common alternative to a computer mouse. It is essentially a special surface that can detect the motion of a user’s finger and use that information to direct a pointer and control a computer.
Touchpads were first introduced to laptops in the 1990s, and now it is rare to find a laptop without one.
A scanner is an input device that acts like a photocopy machine. It is used when some information is available on paper and has to be transferred to a computer hard disk for further manipulation.
The scanner captures images from the source which are then converted into a digital form that can be stored on disk. These images can be edited before printing.
Digital cameras are used to capture photographs and videos independently. Later, these photo and video files can be transferred to a computer by connecting directly to the camera with a cable, removing the memory card, or via wireless data transfer methods such as Bluetooth.
Once the photos are on the computer, they can be saved, edited, emailed, or printed.
A microphone is an input devices that inputs sound that is then stored digitally.
Microphones are used for various applications such as adding sound or mixing music to a multimedia presentation.
Joysticks are commonly used to control characters and vehicles in computer video games. Essentially, a joystick is a handle that pivots on a ledge and sends its angle or direction to the computer as data.
Many video gaming joysticks have triggers and buttons that can be pressed to use weapons or projectiles in the game.
Light pen is a pointing device similar to a pen. It is used to select a displayed menu item or draw pictures on the monitor screen. It consists of a photocell and an optical system placed in a small tube.ads
When the tip of a light pen is moved over the monitor screen and the pen button is pressed, its photocell sensing element detects the screen location and sends the corresponding signal to the CPU.ouch screen
Track ball is an input device that is mostly used in notebook or laptop computer, instead of a mouse. This is a ball which is half inserted and by moving fingers on the ball, the pointer can be moved.
Since the whole device is not moved, a track ball requires less space than a mouse. A track ball comes in various shapes like a ball, a button, or a square.
Webcams are different from digital cameras in two ways. Firstly, they cannot operate independently from a computer, and second, they have no inbuilt memory.
Although webcams can capture photographs and videos, they are more often used to live-stream videos or facilitate video chats.