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2. Input device

An input device is a piece of hardware that is used to enter data into a computer or a similar processing device such as a smart phone.

Input devices are usually categoried as either manual or automatic.

A manual device requires a person to interact with it in some way. For example, a keyboard has to be pressed.

Examples of manual input devices are:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Touchpad
  • Joystick
  • Touchscreen
  • Concept keyboard
  • Scanner
  • Graphics tablet
  • Microphone
  • Digital camera

An automatic device, once set up, handles the whole process of inputting data. For example, Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) automatically reads the patterns of magnetic ink and compares them to sets of characters stored in its database. It can handle inputs much more quickly than a manual input device.

Examples of automatic input devices are:

  • Barcode readers
  • Optical mark reader (OMR)
  • Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR)
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Magnetic stripe readers
  • Sensors
  • Biometric devices

So in any given scenario you should consider the most suitable way of entering data into the computer.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Input device examples