Input Devices
By Laura Handford, Kate Williams,
Carli Cruickshank and Charley Shackley
• This is one of the most common input devices you will use.
• A mouse is also known as a pointing device. A mouse enables you to control
what happens on the computer screen.
• A mouse usually has two buttons and a central wheel which allows you to scroll
up and down the screen. The left button lets you choose a menu item, the right
button brings up a list of relevant menu items and you can then select a task.
• An example of using a mouse is in the hospital is looking at
patient records, when you need to click on a space to insert data.
• An advantage of using a mouse is you have more control over what you want to
do e.g highlighting.
Touch Screen
• A touch screen is the only device that has input and output features.
• An example of a touch screen would be in the doctors, you are now able to
check in without going to the receptionist. There is a touch screen check in as
you walk into many doctors.
• This is an advantage as it is quicker than
waiting to see the receptionist also your
personal information stays private.
Remote Control
• A remote control is used to control a machine from a short distance away.
• Remote controls needs line-of-sight in order to send their signals to the receiving
• An example of a remote control is a television remote, a disadvantage of this is
things such as: wall’s or furniture can block the signals.
• An advantage of this is it allows you to type text, for example, making a note of a TV
programme which has been recorded.
• A webcam is an input device as it captures an image of the scene in front of it.
• It is either built in to the computer (e.g. laptop) or it is connected through an USB cable.
• An example of a webcam is in the hospital or doctors, an advantage of this is you can
speak to other doctors world wide to order medicines.
• The keyboard is the most used input is made up of keys which are
arranged into sections such as alphabet keys, number keys, arrow keys and
command keys.
• The majority of keyboards are called ‘qwerty’ keyboards. This name comes
from the first 6 letters on the first line.
• The main use of a keyboard is to enter data onto the computer.
• Some advantages of the keyboard is that most computers come with a
keyboard already supplied, people get use to using keyboards quickly and
skilled typists can enter data very quickly.
• Some disadvantages are is that it is very easy to make a mistake whilst
typing in data, disabled people find them hard to use, and can also lead to
health problems like strain.
• Keyboards are useful to hospitals as the doctor or nurse can enter patients
data easily and quickly.
• A microphone can be used to input sound. The sound is
detected by the microphone and an electrical signal is
transmitted to the computer
• Using the microphone can be much more quicker than typing
but could mishear a word and write it incorrectly.
• It converts the speech into text
• Microphones are good for hospitals to announce things across
the hospital for everyone to hear.
• Joysticks were originally used by pilots to control the plane, now
they are used to play games
• You can move the joystick in any direction and the joystick tells the
computer which way it is going
• They have buttons which are read by the computer when pressed
• Joysticks are also used on cranes and trucks
• An advantages of joysticks is that they are more realistic when
playing on flighing or racing games
• Some disadvantages are they can break easily and people may find
them harder to use rather than a normal mouse
• Joysticks are good for hospitals as they are used in powered
wheelchairs so any patients who need to get around can easily on
their own.
• The touchpad is an input device usually found on a laptop because there
meant to be portable so don’t have a mouse connected and might take up
to much room
• When you move your finger on the touchpad sensors underneath detect
the movement, direction and speed.
• The sensors only react to a fingertip, not any object like a pencil.
• They have 2 buttons witch represent the left and right button on a mouse
• Some advantages of the touchpad is that it is very small finger movement
can move the cursor and takes up less room than a mouse.
• Some disadvantages are that you cannot wear gloves, sweaty hands can
disrupt the sensors and it also takes practise getting used to moving the
• Touchpads are useful in hospitals because they save room were you would
be using a also lessens the risk of loosing a mouse when you
need it .
Concept Keyboard
• A concept keyboard is a flat board that contains a grid of buttons.
• The grid consists of different pictures.
• Each picture does a different thing and the pictures represent the job they
do, when you click the picture it will take you to a different area.
• For example, concept keyboards are used in places like McDonalds, which
people use for ordering food .
• An advantage to a concept keyboard is that it is quick and easy to get to
the place the picture presents.
• Another advantage is that the keyboard is waterproof so this is good as it
is protected to food and various liquids.
• A disadvantage is that it is limited to options shown on the keyboard.
Optical Mark Reader
• Things such as lottery tickets were everyone wins were you have to tick
the boxes, or on things such as a multiple choice test are scanned by
Optical mark readers.
• They detect the presence of the pencil mark.
• Less light is reflected where the pencil mark has been made.
• The optical mark reader interprets where the marks are and sends them
to the results computer for storage.
• An advantage would be that it is a quicker way to do things instead of
checking the answers manually. A disadvantage would be that if the marks
don’t fill the space properly then they might not be read correctly.
OCR stands for optical character recognition (OCR)
The OCR is a normal scanner and a special software.
OCR is when a piece of paper is scanned and the characters are picked up.
The scanner is used to scan things off a piece of paper into the computer.
The software then examines the paper and then changes the writing and
types up what is on the paper.
• An advantage of the OCR would be it is quick and easy to get the writing
copied instead of typing it up yourself.
• A disadvantage would be that the writing has to be clear for the software
to examine it correctly.
Barcode Reader
Barcodes are represented by black vertical bars and are read by a barcode reader.
Barcodes are printed on nearly every product you buy, each product has a unique code.
When read, information stored in the shop's database is recalled, such as the product
name and price. This information later appears on your receipt. The scanning process
also assists in stock management, reducing the stock by one each time a product is
-bar code readers provide accuracy and speed for scanning prices at the checkout.
-Delivery services such as Federal Express and United Parcel Service use bar codes to
track packages throughout the delivery process, so customers can inquire at any time
where their package currently is located in transit.
-If a barcode becomes scratched or crumpled the reader may not be able to read it.
Used as an alternative to a mouse. To operate it the user rotates the ball which moves the pointer on
screen. They are particularly easy to use for those with limited movement in their hands and are often
used in Computer Aided Design (CAD) for their increased precision over a mouse.
Where are they used?
Trackballs have appeared in computer and video games, particularly early arcade games. Large trackballs are
sometimes seen on computerized special-purpose workstations, such as the radar consoles in an air-traffic
control room or sonar equipment on a ship or submarine. Modern installations of such equipment may use
mice instead, since most people now already know how to use one.
-Easy to use
-Don’t have to move your around like a mouse does
-trackballs get stuck and the wheels inside can get jammed
Magnetic strip reader
• Magnetic stripes are built into many plastic cards such as debit or credit
cards and personal identity cards. The magnetic strip on the back of the
card can hold the personal details of the card owner and, with the
necessary PIN, will allow access to secure information, e.g. bank account
details. Data stored on the strip is scanned and input into a computer
system by a magnetic stripe reader.
-Putting magnetic stripes on the cards are not expensive, so the cards are
-Magnetic stripes may get damaged or the stripe reader could break down.

Input Devices - Deyes High School