The Computer Input Device

The Computer Input Device

Equipment that controls signals and gives info to a processing system are simply input devices. They include cameras, microphones, mice, keyboard scanners, and many more. These devices can be categorized differently based on:

  • Inputs modality
  • If the input is continuous or discrete
  • The degree of freedom involved



A keyboard is an entry interface said to be human, that has a button layout. The keyboard can either be a symbolic, functional or alphanumeric character.


Keyboards availability differentiates in forms. Desktop keypads tend to stretch in a full key distance and are generally large in size however keys in laptops are thin. Scissor and mechanical switches is various technological switches in the modern keyboards. Projection and virtual keyboards lack physical keys.

  1. Chorded keyboard
  2. Keyer
  3. Thumb keyboard
  4. Numeric keyboard
  5. Ergonomic keyboard


Pointing devices

Just like the name suggests, this devices point. They select by moving or by touching. They commonly include; the mouse, touchpads and touch screens. While mice function by surface detection, past devices like joysticks operate by reporting the deflection angle.


Classification is by

  • If it’s an indirect or direct input the direct input coincides with space display. Indirect include trackball and mouse
  • If positional info is relative or absolute.

They include

  1. Trackball
  2. Graphic tablets
  3. Touch pad or track pads
  4. Touch screens
  5. Mouse



This device produces information that is visually or physically based. Sensors detect acceleration and physical orientation in telephones and temperature monitors in desktop computers.

  1. Gyroscope
  2. Magnetometer
  3. Accelerometer
  4. Barometer
  5. LIDAR
  6. Thermometer
  7. Ultrasonic transducer
  8. Proximity sensor

Ever wondered why each time you pick up calls and place the phone by ear its screen turns off? Well, that is due to an infrared sensor that acts on close proximity. To detect overheating conditions in a video game console, a thermometer is used.

High degree input devices

This devices use virtual reality systems, where a 6-degree freedom in needed. Location in these devices is pointed in space rather than screens, therefore, enabling them to principally act in cameras.

Composite devices

Composite devices involve registering three or more forms of input. A mouse can click and track movements if it had any other input it would be considered composite.

  1. Wii Remote
  2. Paddle
  3. Gamepad
  4. Joystick
  5. Racing wheel

Video devices

These inputs digitalize video and images to computers.


  1. Webcam
  2. Digital camera
  3. Image scanner
  4. Portable media player
  5. Eye gaze tracker

Voice devices

This input capture sounds from the outside world


  1. MIDI keyboard
  2. Mics

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