We can communicate with our computer system through many methodologies. Those devices that allow us to transfer the input instructions are the input devices. These devices accept raw data and transfer it to the system to yield the resultant output. This tutorial will let the computer users know in-depth about input devices and their types.

What Are Input Devices?

In computing, an input device allows a user to transfer raw data, information, or management signals to a computer. These devices receive data or a set of instructions from the outside world as input and translate the data into a machine-readable format or an understandable state known as an input device. Computer input devices act as an interface between the outside world and the computer for better communication.

Types of Input Devices

Following are some types of input devices:
  • Pointing Devices
  • Composite Devices
  • Video Input Devices
  • High-Degree of Freedom Input Devices
  • Voice Input Devices
  • Punched Paper
  • Gesture Recognition

Different Input Devices

Commonly used input devices are listed below, along with a summary of their functions:
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Scanner
  • Joystick
  • Web Camera
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Barcode Reader


A keyboard is a typing device that assists users in inputting raw data by typing on the device board. A keyboard is an interface device; portrayed as a design of buttons. It is the most typically used input device. Each button or key can administer to input an alphanumeric character to a computer or operate a particular computer function. It acts as the primary text entry interface for the users. Keyboards are usually of two different types, namely 84 keys or 101/102 keys; For Internet and Windows, it also comes with 104 keys or 108 keys.

Computer Mouse

The mouse is the most familiar, habituated pointing device. When a user clicks and drags, the mouse moves with a small cursor across the monitor screen. If the user lets off the mouse, the cursor comes to a halt. The user has to move the mouse cursor on the computer screen for their use, or else, it will stay steady on the display screen. As a result, it acts as a pointing device that ultimately serves as an input device.

Other Pointing input devices of a computer are as follows:

  • Touchpad
  • Pointing stick
  • Touch screen
  • Trackball,
  • Joystick, etc.


The scanner works in the same way as a photocopy. The name indicates that it employs images and pages in which text is used as input data or information to scan documents or texts. It then converts the scanned text, documents, or images into a digital layout or file and displays them on the screen as the resultant output. It uses the optical character recognition method to convert the input image into a digital image.


A pointing device that helps users drag and move the cursor across the screen is called the joystick. Users can adjust the joystick in any direction. Both the ends of the stick (bottom and top) contain a spherical ball attached to them. The socket carries the lower spherical ball. The stick motion handles the pointer or cursor on the display screen.

Web Camera

A camera that a user can connect to a computer is called a webcam. Users can signify a webcam input device, as it can record video images of any scene in its deception. Nowadays, users allow themselves to use Webcams; to see one another while chatting online. Although it functions practically the same as the digital camera, the difference between a digital camera and a webcam is that developers designed it to handle compact digital photos that the users can upload easily on the WebPages and share with other users via the internet.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR is Optical Character Recognition; its full name. OCR is a process of recognizing text in documents that the users scanned into digital format. Optical character recognition (OCR) directs users to a device that can read printed text. This technology presents a comprehensive solution for document capture and forms processing.


The microphone is that computer input device used to input the sound. It receives the sound in vibration form and then transforms these into audio signals or transmits them to the recording medium. These audio signals are reconverted into a digital layout. The microphone also allows the user to telecommunicate with one another. It can also add sound to productions along with webcams for video conferencing.

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