Input Devices:

These are any devices that send data or instructions into the computer.

Scanner – creates digital copies of 2 dimensional (flat) objects like pictures or handwritten text. These digital images can then be manipulated on the computer. Barcode scanners are used to capture barcodes that can then be translated into data such as prices in shops or passenger details in airports.

Webcam – inputs digital video (and sometimes audio) into the computer, often used for video conferencing (Eg. Skype or Facetime).

Microphone – allows the input of analogue sound which is then converted into digital data.

Concept Keyboard – We are familiar with the qwerty keyboards that we use every day, but some organisations require specific keyboards. For example, a fast food restaurant would use keyboards at the cash register with buttons for different meal sizes or different soft drinks.

Ensure you can explain what the following do: mouse, keyboard, microphone, midi keyboard, graphics tablet, touchpad and sensor.

Output Devices:

These are devices that take instructions from the computer and perform a task or presents results of calculations making the accessible to us.

Projector – shines light through a lens to project an image onto a surface like a screen or an interactive whiteboard.

Actuator – outputs movement. Could move an object up or down, back and forth. This could use hydraulic or pneumatic pressure.

Robotic Arm – often used in factories to create products on a production line.

Ensure you can explain what the following do: printer, speakers, headphones, monitor and lights.

Input and Output

Touch Screen – you can input data or instructions by touching the screen while also viewing results on the screen.

Headset – some headsets include headphones (output) and a mic (input).

Common Mistakes

Memory Sticks  and CDs are not input devices, these are secondary storage devices.

Mobile Phones are not input devices, these are fully functioning computers.

Revise and test yourself on BBC Bitesize.

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