The data or fact that we feed into the computer is called an input. The devices used to input the data in the computer are called input devices.
Examples: keyboard, mouse, light pen, joystick, scanner, microphone, etc.
Various Input Devices of computer
There are lots of input devices for the computer. here we categories them on the basis of pointing, keyboard, gaming, image and video, character recognition, other devices.
A pointing device is used to control the movement of the pointer to select items on a monitor. It allows the user to control and provide data to the computer using physical gestures – point, click, and drag – typically by moving the pointer.
Examples: mouse, joystick
A mouse is a hand-operated pointing device that controls the cursor on the computer screen. It helps us to point things on the computer monitor. It is also used to click and drag things on the computer monitor.
There are two types of mouse, a mechanical mouse that uses a ball and roller to measure the movement of the mouse and an optical mouse that uses light and sensor.
The mouse has two buttons:
a. Left button: The left mouse button is used for selection.
b. Right button: The right mouse button is used to display a special menu with various options.
Actions of a Mouse
|Single-click||To press and release the left mouse button once is called a single click. It is used to make object selections.|
|Double-click||To press and release the left mouse button twice quickly, without moving the mouse is called as a double-click. It is used to open the selected item or to execute that object.|
|Right-click||To press and release the right mouse button once is called a right-click. It displays a list of properties on the screen of the selected object.|
|Drag-and-drop||It is used to move or copy an item from one location to another.|
In graphical user interfaces, a pointer is a small arrow or another symbol on the display screen that moves as we move the mouse.
A touchpad is a flat surface, which is similar to a laptop touchpad which is used in the alternative of the mouse in the computer. It is controlled by the fingers of the user. From the 1990s the touchpad was used first time in the laptop, and it’s now very rare to find a laptop without a touchpad.
Keyboard input Devices of computer
A keyboard device is used to type the text. We can type alphabets, numbers, and also special characters.
A keyboard is a standard input device used for typing the text. The set of typewriter-like keys enables you to enter the data into a computer. A computer keyboard is similar to an electronic typewriter keyboard and also contains additional keys Standard keyboard has 101 keys.
The standard layout of letters, numbers, and punctuation is known as a QWERTY keyboard because the first six keys on the top row of the keyboard letters spell QWERTY.
The description of important keys of a keyboard is as follows:
|Alphabet Keys (ABC…XYZ)||A keyboard has 26 alphabet keys from A to Z. These keys help in typing the data.|
|Numeric Keys||These keys are used for typing the numbers. They are marked with the digits from 0 to 9.|
We can also use the numeric keypad placed on the right side of the keyboard to type numbers.
|Functional Keys (F1-F12)||The functional keys are used for special functions. They are marked from F1 to F12. They are placed on top of the keyboard.|
Example: F1: Help, F5: Refresh
|Cursor Control keys||The cursor is a blinking symbol that appears on the screen. |
The cursor control keys are used to move the cursor in any one of the four directions (up, down, left, or right).
The arrow marks on the keys indicate the direction in which the cursor will move when the keys are pressed.
|Enter Key||This key is used to send the request to the CPU, once the task is completed. The enter key is also used to move the cursor to the beginning of the next line.|
|Spacebar Key||Physically, this is the longest key on the keyboard. It is used to insert blank spaces between two words or letters.|
|Backspace Key||This key is used to remove one character at a time to the left of its current position|
|Delete Key||Del or delete key is used to erase the typed contents.|
|Shift Key||There are two shift keys on a keyboard one on the left side and one on the right side. |
This key is used in combination with other keys.
Some keys, like numeric keys, have special symbols printed on their upper portion.
The shift key is used to print these symbols.
|Caps Lock Key||This key is used to type the alphabet either in capital letters or in small letters. |
When the caps lock key is pressed on all the letters, which we type will appear in upper case.
When the caps lock is pressed off, all the letters we type will appear in lower case.
Gaming Input Devices of computer
The gaming device is mainly used for playing games. Playing games is one of the enjoying task for the users of the computer.
Examples: joystick, keyboard
Joystick computer input devices
Joystick is an input device. It is similar to a mouse.
- A joystick consists of a handheld stick that pivots about one end and transmits its angle in two or three dimensions to a computer.
- The joystick has one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer.
- Most VO interface cards for PCs have a joystick (game control) port.
- The joystick is also used for controlling machines such as elevators, cranes, trucks, powered wheelchairs, etc.
The console is an input device. It is similar to a mouse and joystick. And it is generally used for playing games on the computer. And it’s easy to play games with console. Generally, it has 12 keys on it with a different function.
Image & Video computer input devices
The image and video devices are mainly used to scan images and capture videos.
Examples: scanner, digital camera
A scanner is an input device. It is capable of converting an image (such as the photograph, printed text, or handwritten-matter) on paper into digital format. This process enables duplicating and storing of data on paper.
The stored data can then be retrieved, printed or merged with any other documents.
Example: a photograph can be scanned and stored in a computer
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.
A digital camera is an electronic device used to capture and store photographs electronically instead of using photographic film in conventional cameras.
Modern compact digital cameras are typically multifunctional, with some devices capable of recording the sound and video as well as photographs.
Character Recognition input Devices
Character recognition refers to the branch of computer science that involves reading text from the paper and translating the images into a form that the computer can manipulate.
Examples: MICR, OCR
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
MICR system is widely used in bank clearinghouses to sort the tremendous volume of cheques received by them every day. MICR reader is able to read these characters printed on cheques and accordingly initiate the sorting action with the help of a computer-controlled cheque sorter.
The advantage associated with the use of MICR is that even if cheques are handled roughly, folded, smeared, or stamped, they can read with high degree accuracy. Besides this, the processing is speeded up considerably.
The main disadvantage of MICR is that it recognizes only 10 numeric digits and four special characters. It does not recognize alphabetic characters.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated as OCR, is computer software designed to translate images of handwritten or typewritten text (usually captured by a scanner) into machine-editable text. OCR began as a field of research in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, and machine vision.
But nowadays OCR is out dated this type of work can be easily done by the help of the software.
Other input devices of computer
A microphone captures audio and sends it to a computer where it is converted to a digital format. Once the audio has been digitized, it can be played back, copied, edited, uploaded, or emailed. Microphones can also be used to record audio or to relay sounds live as part of a video chat or audio stream.
The stylus is a pen-shaped input device used to write or draw on the screen of a graphic tablet or device. Initially, it was just used for graphic tablets and PDAs, but now, it has become popular on mobile devices as a replacement for the user’s fingers. It’s used for more accurate navigation and to keep oils from the user’s fingers off the device screen.
Biometric computer input devices
Biometric devices are an input device used to input biometric data into a computer. Here are the types of biometric devices:
- Face scanner: It is available on many smartphones nowadays.
- Hand scanner: You can see it in Bank lockers.
- Finger scanner: It is also available in many smartphones nowadays
- Voice scanner: It is also available on many smartphones nowadays.
Virtual Reality(VR) Glasses
VR stands for virtual reality. It is an artificial or virtual environment that is generated by computers.
A person can interact with virtual objects of this artificial environment using some input devices such as headsets, gloves, headphones, etc.
For example, he or she can find himself or herself walking on a beach, watching a football match, walking in the sky, playing games, etc. without actually doing all this.
Barcode Reader is a device used for reading bar coded data (data in the form of light and dark lines). Barcoded data is generally used in labeling goods, numbering the books, and for payment, etc. Nowadays the barcode can easily reader by our Smartphone.