3. Computer input devices

a computer input

The role of an input in a computer system is to provide data for further processing.

An input consists of data or commands that are entered into the computer system usually via an input device such as a keyboard, mouse, OMR, barcode reader, scanner etc.

The input data is converted into digital data that can be dealt with by the computer.

Sometimes the input is already in digital format, for example when it has been transmitted from another computer but most of the time it needs to be converted into a digital format before processing can take place.

a general input


Examples of input devices and the way they create digital data :-

Input device How it works
Keyboard User presses a physical key. An electronic chip senses the key press and produces a digital code to represent the meaning of the key.
Mouse User slides the mouse around. This movement is picked up by a sensor inside the mouse and digital data is sent as a result
Touch screen User makes gestures on the surface of the screen or slides their finger along it. Sensors behind the screen picks up the action and converts it into digital data
Microphone The microphone system picks up sound and converts it into digital data


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Digital computer inputs




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