A+ Certification / Beginners

Other Input Devices

As technology moves on, new input devices appear. For example, laptops use a touch pad as an input device, whereas handheld devices use a pen-like stylus. The following is a list of other input devices you may encounter:

  • Touch pad: A number of laptop systems today use the touch pad as an alternative way to control the mouse pointer in Windows. The touch pad is a rectangular area found below the keyboard that you move your finger across in the direction you would like the mouse pointer to move. There are usually two buttons below the square to perform left- and right-click operations.
  • Touch screens: You see touch screens used a lot at public terminals for things like information booths and bank machines. You can identify the touch screen by it being a device that allows you to actually touch the screen to choose different options.
  • Bar code reader: A bar code reader is a type of scanner that reads bar codes and then converts the bar code into data that is stored on the computer and used in applications. An example of an application that may take advantage of a bar code reader as an input device is an inventory application.
  • Biometric devices: Biometric devices are used to authenticate, or log, people onto a system by using biological characteristics of that person, such as a fingerprint or a retinal scan. Biometric devices are very popular in high-security environments because of how difficult it is to impersonate someone when dealing with authentication methods such as a fingerprint scan. Some laptop makers are even starting to include fingerprint scanners in consumer-level laptops as security devices and theft deterrents.
[Previous] [Contents]