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The role of Input devices in Computer

Updated on May 13, 2010

The Role Of Input Devices in a computer


The user provides the input to the computer in order to get the processed data, known as information, or the output. There are different ways in which users can provide input to the computer. Those who work in factories generally input data by punching it on a time clock.

Input Devices

Input refers to the data, software, or institutions that we enter into the computer. Input devices are computer components with the help of which we enter programs, data etc. into the computer. Some examples of input devices are the keyboard, mouse, trackball, and light pen.


A keyboard is the most commonly used input device. It has keys to type alphabets, digits and some other special characters.

(i)                Its letters are arranged in the universal QWERTY layout.

(ii)              The digits are arranged above the alphabets.

(iii)            Function keys are aligned horizontally at the top.

(iv)            Special keys such as windows key, control key, Alt etc. are arranged in a particular way.


The mouse is one of the smallest input devices. It helps us to point several things which are displayed on the computer. Modern type of mouse has only two buttons. The design of the mouse is arranged in such a way that it can be well moved without any opposing force and nicely fits in our palm. In modern operating systems like Ubuntu, Windows, Macintosh etc. , the mouse helps the user to point images, folders etc. without writing commands.


This input device can be used as an alternative to the mouse. It contains ball which is rolled by our fingers directly. This device is often used by travellers who are in need of short space and unable to find a flat surface.


A Joystick is one of the low-priced input components. It is used mainly to draw and to play games. Traditionally, a joystick has a rod that sticks out from the main mechanism with a ball attached to the lower end.


Scanners can copy written documents, pictures or photographs directly into the computer. To be done like this, a scanner photographs the image to be copied and convert it into an electronic form by sensing the intensity of reflections at every point.


The importance of microphone is growing. As the name suggests, they are used to record voices especially in multimedia presentations where narration, music and other sound effects are required.

Optical Character Recognition

Often spoken in the abbreviated form as OCR, optical character recognition refers to the branch of computer science that involves reading, text from paper and translating the images into a form that the computer can manipulate. An optical Character Recognition device uses a light source to read special characters and convert them into electrical signals to be sent to the CPU.


MICR is the abbreviation for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. The cheque number along with the codes for city, bank and branch are all encoded on every cheque along the bottom edge. A magnetic ink character reader is used to read these characters. With the development of MICR, where no manual operation is required, even very large number of cheques can be sorted out automatically and in virtually no time.

Light Pen

A light pen looks like a writing pen. It consists of a light sensor that senses the light generated by the computer screen. it can be held between fingers and used as a pointing device, like a mouse. Despite the name, the light pen does not emit any light. But they sense the presence of light. The tip of the pen contains a light sensitive element, which senses the light when pointed to monitor by detecting the amount of light and this process enables this pen to locate the position of the pen.

Barcode Reader

Bar codes are the strips found on the product of packing of almost all the items. While shopping, the cashier does not want to look for prices. He simply runs a device over the bar code. The stripes of code are sensed and read by the Bar Code reader.

There are two types of bar code readers: the wand type and the scanner type. The wand type is moved by hand over the printed bar code. The Scanner type readers move the light beam across the bar code.

Digital Camera

Images taken by the digital cameras are stored in the form of digitized images. The main advantage of digital cameras is that the process of manipulating the images is very fast.


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    • profile image

      Deez Nuts 

      2 years ago

      Super Duper helpful!! (: ;) ;(

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      not helpful

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      doesn't answer my question

    • profile image

      red ace 

      5 years ago

      dosent answer my question

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      this does not answers my question

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Its realy simple and helpful

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image

      Nwajere Alozie Nwajere 

      7 years ago

      Input accept data and instructions from the user or from another computer.


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