Input Device – Part 1
Input device enables the user to send data, information, or control signals to a computer. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer receives the input and processes it to produce the output.
Input Devices are:
- Light Pen
- Touch Screen
- Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
- Optical Character Reader (OCR)
The keyboard is a basic input device that is used to enter data into a computer or any other electronic device by pressing keys. It has different sets of keys for letters, numbers, characters, and functions. Keyboards are connected to a computer through USB or a Bluetooth device for wireless communication.
Types of keyboards: There can be different types of keyboards based on the region and language used. Some of the common types of keyboards are as follows:
(i) QWERTY Keyboard
It is the most commonly used keyboard with computers in modern times. It is named after the first six letters of the top row of buttons and is even popular in countries that do not use Latin-based alphabet. It is so popular that some people think that it is the only type of keyboard to use with computers as an input device.
(ii) AZERTY Keyboard
It is considered the standard French keyboard. It is developed in France as an alternative layout to the QWERTY layout and is mainly used in France and other European countries. Some countries have manufactured their own versions of AZERTY.
Its name is derived from the first six letters that appear on the top left row of the keyboard. The Q and W keys in AZERTY keyboard are interchanged with A and Z keys in QWERTY keyboard. Furthermore, in AZERTY keyboard M key is located to the left of the L key.
AZERTY keyboard differs from QWERTY keyboard not only in the placement of letters but also in many other ways, e.g., it gives emphasis on accents, which is required for writing European languages like French.
(iii) DVORAK Keyboard
This type of keyboard layout was developed to increase the typing speed by reducing the finger movement while typing. The most frequently used letters are kept in a home row to improve typing.
The mouse is a hand-held input device which is used to move cursor or pointer across the screen. It is designed to be used on a flat surface and generally has left and right button and a scroll wheel between them. Laptop computers come with a touchpad that works as a mouse. It lets you control the movement of cursor or pointer by moving your finger over the touchpad. Some mouse comes with integrated features such as extra buttons to perform different buttons.
The mouse was invented by Douglas C. Engelbart in 1963. Early mouse had a roller ball integrated as a movement sensor underneath the device. Modern mouse devices come with optical technology that controls cursor movements by a visible or invisible light beam. A mouse is connected to a computer through different ports depending on the type of computer and type of a mouse.
Common types of the mouse:-
(i) Trackball Mouse
It is a stationary input device that has ball mechanism to move the pointer or cursor on the screen. The ball is half inserted in the device and can be easily rolled with finger, thumb or the palm to move the pointer on the screen. The device has sensor to detect the rotation of ball. It remains stationary; you don’t need to move it on the operating surface. So, it is an ideal device if you have limited desk space as you don’t need to move it like a mouse.
(ii) Mechanical Mouse
It has a system of a ball and several rollers to track its movement. It is a corded type of mouse. A mechanical mouse can be used for high performance. The drawback is that they tend to get dust into the mechanics and thus require regular cleaning.
(iii) Optical Mouse
An optical mouse uses optical electronics to track its movement. It is more reliable than a mechanical mouse and also requires less maintenance. However, its performance is affected by the surface on which it is operated. Plain non-glossy mouse mat should be used for best results. The rough surface may cause problems for the optical recognition system, and the glossy surface may reflect the light wrongly and thus may cause tracking issues.
(iv) Cordless or Wireless Mouse
As the name suggests, this type of mouse lacks cable and uses wireless technology such as IrDA (infrared) or radio (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) to control the movement of the cursor. It is used to improve the experience of using a mouse. It uses batteries for its power supply.
3. Light Pen
A light pen is a computer input device that looks like a pen. The tip of the light pen contains a light-sensitive detector that enables the user to point to or select objects on the display screen. Its light sensitive tip detects the object location and sends the corresponding signals to the CPU. It is not compatible with LCD screens, so it is not in use today. It also helps you draw on the screen if needed. The first light pen was invented around 1955 as a part of the Whirlwind project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
4. Touch Screen
A touch screen is a computer display screen that serves as an input device. When a touch screen is touched by a finger or stylus, it registers the event and sends it to a controller for processing.
A touch screen may contain pictures or words that the user can touch to interact with the device.