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Definition: Input Device from Dictionary of Information Science and Technology

a machine that feeds data into a computer. In this context, input devices are typically the appliances handled by humans to interact with computers. (Abascal et al., 2008)

Summary Article: input device
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Device for entering information into a computer. Input devices include the keyboard, the joystick, the mouse, the light pen, the touch screen, the scanner, the graphics tablet, speech recognition devices, and vision systems. The input into an electronic system is usually through switches or sensors.

Input devices that are used commercially – for example, by banks, postal services, and supermarkets – must be able to read and capture large volumes of data very rapidly. Such devices include document readers for magnetic-ink character recognition (MICR), optical character recognition (OCR), and optical mark recognition (OMR); mark-sense readers; bar-code scanners; magnetic-strip readers; and point-of-sale (POS) terminals. Punched-card and paper-tape readers were used in earlier commercial applications but are now obsolete.


Control: Input, Process, and Output

Control Systems

Measuring Physical Data

Systems – everyday objects

Hardware components of a computer system


graphics tablet



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