1.3.3 Other Input Devices

Data can be fed into a Computer through input devices. Input devices accept data in its original format and translate the data into electronic signals the Computer can process.

Pointing Devices

While working with display based packages, we are mostly pointing to some area in the display to select an option and move across on the screen to select subsequent options. For such cases pointing devices are very useful. There are several pointing devices, some of them are light pen, track balls and joysticks.

Light Pen

lightpenThis is a pen shaped device allowing natural movement on the screen. The pen contains the Light receptor and is activated by pressing the pen against the display screen. Receptor is the scanning beam, which helps in locating the pen's position. Suitable system software is provided to initiate necessary action when we locate an area on the display surface with the help of the light pen.

Voice / Speech Input

speechinputOne of the most exciting areas of research is in recognizing human voices / speech so that this could form input to computer directly. This approach will eliminate the need for keying in data and will facilitate cas ual users to use the computer very easily. There are several problem areas for research since speech recognition system should be able to identify who is speaking and what the message is. Voice recognition techniques along with several other techniques to convert the voice signals to appropriate words and derive the correct meaning of words are required for a commercially viable comprehensive speech recognition system


scannerScanners facilitate capturing of the information (an image, text document, a drawing or a photograph) and storing them in graphic format for displaying back on the graphic al screen. Scanner illuminates the page that is to be scanned so that optical image transforms into digital format for stored in computer.

Bar code reader 

barcodBar-code readers are photoelectric scanners that read the bar codes or vertical zebra stripes marks, printed on product containers. These devices are generally used in super markets, bookshops etc.

Optical mark recognition (OMR)

omrOptical mark recognition, also called mark sense reader is a technology where an OMR device senses the presence or absence of a mark, such as pencil mark. OMR is widely used in tests such as aptitude test.

Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)

MICR can identify character printed with a special ink that contains particles of magnetic material. This device particularly finds applications in banking industry.download