There are many input formats which enable us to gather up and collect information, and enter data and instructions into the computer.
Input devices can be manual or automatic.
Manual input devices include:
Keyboard - including concept keyboard. This is a flat board that contains a grid of buttons. Each button can be programmed to follow instructions. An overlay sheet is placed on the grid with an explanation for each button. They are used in primary schools with young children. Many modern fast food restaurants have overlays with either a description or picture of the meals that are available to make ordering easier.
Digital camera - this allows you to take pictures and to store a digital photographic image that can be read by a computer. You can then transfer the images directly from your camera on to your computer.
Microphone - A microphone is a device to input sound information and can be used with a voice recognition system which processes the information. This can be used with a word processing program to enter text. It can also be used as part of security systems - only certain digitally stored voices will gain access.
Touch screen - this is a special type of VDU, which has a grid of light beams or fine wires criss-crossing the screen. When the screen is touched (usually to choose an on-screen option), the computer senses where you have pressed. The information is stored on the computer and the touch screen is simply an interface. Touch screens have the benefit of being very robust and easy to operate and reprogram, hence why they are used in public places.
Video digitiser - this takes an image from a video camera or television and converts it so that it can be used by, and stored on, a computer. Video sequences captured using a video digitiser are often used in multimedia presentations.
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