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Input device

A common computer input device, a keyboard. A user presses a key which transfers information to a computer.

In computing, an input device is a piece of equipment used to provide data and control signals to an information processing system, such as a computer or information appliance. Examples of input devices include keyboards, mouse, scanners, cameras, joysticks, and microphones.

Input devices can be categorized based on:

  • modality of input (e.g., mechanical motion, audio, visual, etc.)
  • whether the input is discrete (e.g., pressing of key) or continuous (e.g., a mouse's position, though digitized into a discrete quantity, is fast enough to be considered continuous)
  • the number of degrees of freedom involved (e.g., two-dimensional traditional mice, or three-dimensional navigators designed for CAD applications)

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