Input Devices In Computer – 11 Gadgets you must know about

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This tech blog will discuss the input devices with examples. As we categorize computer hardware components into three units:

  • Input Unit
  • Output Unit
  • System Unit

The input Unit comprises the input devices in the computer, whereas the Output Unit consists of the output devices. Moreover, System Unit includes Central Processing Unit (commonly known as a CPU), a Memory Unit, Motherboard, Buses, and Ports.

Definition for Input Devices with Examples

The devices that constitute the Input Unit of the computer are called input devices. These devices perform input operations, i.e., accept user data for processing.

Examples for Input Devices in computer

The most commonly used input devices are:


A keyboard contains standard character keys and numeric and special keys. It operates by converting key presses into electronic signals in digital form. It is a primary input device for inputting data into the computer. However, the voice input devices may ultimately supersede it.

Most Common Keyboard layouts


POINTING Input Devices

We use the pointing input devices in the computer to control the cursor’s movement (pointer) to select items on a screen or open programs or files. Moreover, these are only workable in an Operating System that supports Graphical User Interface.

Pointing Input Devices with Examples

The pointing devices we use most commonly are a mouse, light pen, joystick, trackball, touch screen, and touchpad.


It is a hand-held pointing input device that detects a multi-dimensional motion relative to a surface. The mouse typically translates the movement of the hand into the action of a cursor/pointer on the display screen. Consequently, it allows a smooth control of the objects.

Traditional mouses used a ball rolling on a surface to translate motion. However, the modern mouse has optical sensors with no moving parts. In addition to moving a cursor, the mouse contains more buttons allowing selection, dragging, and scrolling operations.

The mouse is among the virtual input devices of a computer system to run Windows and other GUI-based applications.

Who invented the first computer mouse?

Doug Engelbart invented the first computer mouse of wood around 1964 AD.

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The trackball remains stationary on the surface. The ball at the top is rolled with fingers. Moreover, it contains buttons that we use to perform operations similar to a mouse’s.

Light Pen

It looks like a pen with a photocell at its tip. We use it to point to an object or draw on the screen. Moreover, it provides more accuracy than pointing our fingers on a touch screen. Experts in the engineering field use it for designing purposes.

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Input devices with examples: Light Pen


We commonly use it for playing computer games. One may fix it on the table. Moreover, it contains a hand-held stick in the center that can tilt in any direction. As a result, the joystick translates the stick’s movement into the motion of an object on the screen. We use the buttons to perform actions such as firing guns and lasers.

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The touchpad is integrated into laptop computers, replacing the mouse. It is a pointing input device that can sense the movement and position of the finger on the pad. Moreover, there are two buttons located above or below the place functioning the same way as the buttons of a computer mouse. They are an alternative to a computer mouse on a laptop computer.

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Touch Screen

It is a computer display screen. It is an output as well as an input device. Since the screen is pressure-sensitive, users interact with the computer by touching pictures or words on the net. Moreover, the user uses fingers to point directly to the objects on the screen instead of using a pointing device.

Touch screens are usually attached to computers. They are also popular on other devices such as mobile phones, satellite navigators, and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).


As we all know, a microphone accepts audio input as the electronic circuitry converts the spoken words to digital signals for computer input. Therefore microphone converts the audio signals to electrical waves.

Digital Camera

A digital camera captures pictures (i.e., image input) and stores them in digital form. We can download those pictures to a computer for viewing and editing. Moreover, digital cameras have an LCD for viewing images in the viewfinder and the camera’s memory. Additionally, it is an input as well as an output device.


The scanner is an optical input device. It optically scans the handwritten/printed text and images, storing them in computer memory in digital form. Moreover, scanners have wide use in getting diagrams, drawings, and photographs into computer systems. We do this to incorporate books and documents made up electronically before printing.

There are different types of scanners:

Hand-Held Scanner

The hand-held scanner is dragged over the image to be scanned. We should use it carefully with uniform speed as a variable scanning rate would produce a distorted image. Moreover, Hand-held scanners are helpful for scanning articles from newspapers, books, and magazines.

Flatbed Scanner

We place the image face on the glass and lower the cover to exclude light. The camera moves across the glass pane, reading the entire area.

Barcode Reader

It is also a scanner used to scan barcodes available on various products. Moreover, barcodes contain information about the product, like the name, the company, manufacturing, and expiry dates. Barcodes are also called UPS (Universal Product Code).

A barcode reader provides this information to the computer for further processing, like generating bills at checkouts in shopping malls. We usually do not include prices in barcodes because they are not constant and may change frequently.

Multiple Stripe Card Reader

It reads the information encoded in the magnetic stripe on the back of a plastic card. Data stored on the magnetic stripe appears in the form of tiny magnetized particles. Moreover, the information on the card is ready by swiping the card past a magnetic reading head. These cards include credit cards, ATM cards, VISA and MasterCard, driver’s licenses, and membership cards.

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