What Is an Input Device?
In computing, 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.
TOP 10 Input Devices
- Digital Camera
- Graphic Tablet
- Touch Screen
Input devices can be categorized based on:
- modality of input (e.g. mechanical motion, audio, visual, etc.)
- whether the input is discrete (e.g. pressing of key) or continuous (e.g. a mouse’s position, though digitized into a discrete quantity, is fast enough to be considered continuous)
- The number of degrees of freedom involved (e.g. two-dimensional traditional mice, or three-dimensional navigators designed for CAD applications)
Keyboards are the most common tye 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.