Paul's passion for technology and digital media goes back over 30 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in the US.
What Is an Input Device?
An input device is essentially a piece of hardware 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 the mouse and the keyboard, but there are many others.
The key distinction between an input device and an output device is that the former sends data to the computer, whereas the latter receives data from the computer. Input and output devices that provide computers with additional functionality are also called peripheral or auxiliary devices.
10 Examples of Input Devices
- Digital Camera
- Graphic Tablet
- Touch Screen
Each device in this list is covered in more detail below.
Keyboards are the most common type of input device. Before keyboards, interaction with computers was generally carried out using punch cards and paper tape. Most English language keyboards use the QWERTY layout for the alphabetic keys, which are surrounded by number, symbol, function, and other key types. By pressing the relevant keys, a user can feed data and instructions to the computer.
A mouse interacts with a computer through a process known as "point and click." Essentially, when a user moves the mouse on the mouse pad, the pointer moves in a corresponding direction on the computer's monitor screen.
The concept of a computer mouse has its roots in the trackball, a related pointing device 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 up and down documents and web pages.
Also known as a trackpad, a touchpad is a common substitute for a computer mouse. It is essentially a specialized surface that can detect the movement of a user's finger and use that information to direct a pointer and control a computer. Touchpads were first introduced for laptops in the 1990s, and it's now rare to find a laptop without one.
The word "scanner" can be used in a number of different ways in the computer world, but here I am using it to refer to a desktop image scanner. Essentially, a scanner is an input device that uses optical technology to transfer images (or sometimes text) into a computer, where the signal is converted into a digital image. The digital image can then be viewed on a monitor screen, saved, edited, emailed, or printed.
5. Digital Camera
Digital cameras are used to capture photographs and videos independently. Later, these photo and video files can be transferred to a computer by connecting the camera directly with a cable, removing the memory card and slotting it into the computer, or through wireless data transfer methods such as Bluetooth. Once the photos are on the computer, they can be saved, edited, emailed, or printed.
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.
Joysticks are commonly used to control characters and vehicles in computer video games. Essentially, a joystick is a handle that pivots on a base and sends its angle or direction to the computer as data. Many video gaming joysticks feature triggers and buttons that can be pressed to use weapons or projectiles in games.
8. Graphic Tablet
Also known as digitizers, graphic tablets are input devices used for converting hand-drawn artwork into digital images. The user draws with a stylus on a special flat surface as if they were drawing on a piece of paper. The drawing appears on the computer screen and can be saved, edited, or printed.
While scanners can only create digital images from drawings, graphic tablets offer greater control and versatility for artists by allowing them to see their drawing appear live on their monitor as they create it.
9. Touch Screen
Many devices nowadays use a touch screen rather than a mouse as a way for users to point, drag, or select options on a screen. As the name suggests, a touch screen is a touch-sensitive monitor screen that reacts to fingers moving across it. Touch screens are particularly common in portable devices, such as tablets, palmtops, laptops, and smartphones.
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, for this reason. webcam devices often incorporate built-in microphones in addition to cameras.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Paul Goodman
taigen hall on September 11, 2020:
caprise williamson on September 09, 2020:
rfccv on August 22, 2020:
Wiredu Boateng Foster on August 18, 2020:
Freda Jenkinse on August 13, 2020:
How can you detect if someone has connected a Tablet to YOUR phone, can it be an Input Device. I have been Hacked and I saw there's a Tablet attached to my phone. Can I Remove It.
Vivek sharma on July 18, 2020:
Thank you sir
Srushti. on July 17, 2020:
I liked the idea and information about the various types of Input device's.
christoper rajesh on July 12, 2020:
LaRae Gluch on July 11, 2020:
How about I phone s
collin on July 06, 2020:
thanks it help me in my cxc
Chizoba on July 02, 2020:
Thanks so much,you are always here to help.i appriciate
Gbolahan on June 30, 2020:
Very good it help me in my homework
Band on June 30, 2020:
Isn' t mouse an output device
Yash on June 27, 2020:
It was very helpful
Payal on June 26, 2020:
spaghetti bolognese on June 19, 2020:
keep up the good work!!
spaghetti bolognese on June 19, 2020:
Boiled Rice on June 19, 2020:
it helped me in my homework
Sushi on June 19, 2020:
Very nice it helped
Swara on June 17, 2020:
Yashi on June 16, 2020:
Thanks it is very nice information this help for my holiday work
franklyn on June 10, 2020:
Krishna on June 05, 2020:
Thanks it was very useful
sakshi on June 04, 2020:
Thanks it was very useful
Eriksen on May 22, 2020:
Thanks for your help
rose on May 04, 2020:
Thank you that was very helpful
te on May 01, 2020:
Thanks you help me complete my homework this is a great site
C/H/E/R/R/Y on April 30, 2020:
MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF COMPUTER
waser on April 06, 2020:
thanks you help me complete my homework
Recommended for you
AntonietaDumaboc on April 06, 2020:
Thank you, its nice and useful
Mohammed Ali on April 05, 2020:
Camoya on March 31, 2020:
Perfect nothing else but the answer
Come together on March 20, 2020:
One in town,
Keep it up,
Thanks for your help and support
Sayra on March 18, 2020:
noor on March 11, 2020:
thank u for give this information
Celsus on March 06, 2020:
Perfect and straight to the point. No beating about the bush
Moses on February 27, 2020:
Ya MAM on February 26, 2020:
Aztec on February 24, 2020:
sandhya on February 21, 2020:
very nice information
yeet on February 13, 2020:
thank you so useful yeet
Given on February 12, 2020:
This is so brief and helpful,thanks.
mllnjhn on February 10, 2020:
perfect info..... thanks
Man bala on February 07, 2020:
nexo on February 06, 2020:
Yusuf on February 06, 2020:
Thanks dear bro it was so helpful keep up
Pascal on January 28, 2020:
Thanks appreciated its helpful
malavika on January 28, 2020:
thanks a lot... you helped me complete my homework
david on January 15, 2020:
I love it thanks
reejay patel on December 03, 2019:
its perfect...And helpful.
Adodo on November 27, 2019:
This is the perfect definition of an input device i read and its helpful and easy to understand.
S.Abibu KETTOR on November 24, 2019:
Thanks for helping
saminu abdullahi isa on November 20, 2019:
Aman Kumar thakur on November 11, 2019:
Touch screen is not only input device it is both input and output device
Ananya. M. Aich on November 01, 2019:
Nice ha......thanks a lot for your cooperation and yu helped me to complete my homework of diwali vacation, once again......thank you so much dear
mth on October 31, 2019:
Blessed on October 30, 2019:
legendYJ on October 30, 2019:
that wasn't helpful
muhammad aizaz khan on October 30, 2019:
that was helpful very helpful
lyla on October 24, 2019:
Jaclyn on October 22, 2019:
This was helpful, thanks a lot.
dwew on October 16, 2019:
nobody on October 10, 2019:
siraj Yusuf on September 30, 2019:
Losa on September 28, 2019:
Mahak gupta on September 19, 2019:
Thanks a lot ....
Mahi on September 18, 2019:
So helpful. Thanks alot because of your support i got out of marks.
Joyce on August 22, 2019:
Ashwini Jadhav on August 15, 2019: