Input Technologies

An input device is a peripheral (piece of computer hardware equipment) used to provide data and control signals to an information processing system such as a computer or information appliance. Examples of input devices include keyboards, mouse, scanners, digital cameras and joysticks.

Input technologies can be broadly classified into :

  • Human Data-Entry Devices
  • Source Data Automation
1. Human Data-Entry Devices

Human Data-Entry Devices

It allows people to communicate with the computer. 
• Keyboards:
   Most common input device (for text and numerical data). 
• Mouse:
  Handheld device used to point cursor at point on screen, such as an icon; user clicks button on mouse instructing computer to take some action. 
• Optical mouse:
  Mouse is not connected to computer by a cable; mouse uses camera chip to take images of surface it passes over, comparing successive images to determine its position. 
• Trackball:
  User rotates a ball built into top of device to move cursor (rather than moving entire device such as a mouse). 
• Touchpad:
 User moves cursor by sliding finger across a sensitized pad and then can tap pad when cursor is in desired position to instruct computer to take action (also called glide-and-tap pad). • Joystick Joystick moves cursor to desired place on screen; commonly used in workstations that display dynamic graphics and in video games. 
• Touchscreen:
  Users instruct computer to take some action by touching a particular part of the screen; commonly used in information kiosks such as ATM machines. 
• Stylus:
 Pen-style device that allows user either to touch parts of a predetermined menu of options or to handwrite information into the computer (as with some PDAs); works with touchsensitive screens. 
• Voice-recognition:
 Converts voice wave sounds into digital input for computer; critical technology for physically challenged people who cannot use other input devices.

2. Source Data Automation
Source Data Automation, A barcode scanner

    It allows to input data with minimal human intervention; this technology speeds up data collection, reduce errors, and gather data at the source of transaction or other events. 
• Automated teller machines:
   Interactive devices that enable people to make bank transactions from remote locations. 
• Point-of-sale terminals:
   Computerized cash registers that also may incorporate touch screen technology and barcode scanners to input data such as item sold, price, etc. 
• Barcode scanners:
  Devices scan black-and-white barcode lines printed on merchandise labels. 
• Optical mark reader:
  Scanner for detecting presence of dark marks on predetermined grid, such as multiplechoice test answer sheets. 
• Magnetic ink character reader:
   Read magnetic ink printed on checks which identify the bank, checking account, and check number. 
• Optical character recognition:
  Software that converts text into digital form for input into computer. Sensors Collect data directly from the environment and input data directly into computer; 
• Cameras Digital:
 cameras capture images and convert them into digital files. 
• Retinal scanners:
  Displays Projects an image, pixel by pixel, directly onto a viewer?s retina; used with mobile devices.

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