A451 – Input and Output devices

An input device is a piece of computer hardware equipment which is used to enter data and provide signals to an information processing system like a computer.

And output device is any piece of computer hardware equipment used to communicate results of data.

Well will be looking at input and output devices in a supermarket, an intensive care hospital room and what is used by a physically disabled person who is unable to use their arms.


barcode scannerThis is a barcode scanner, these devices can read barcodes and output printed barcodes onto a computer. It consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor which translates optical impulses into electrical ones.

rfid detectorThis is an RFID detector. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification Tag. RFID has two main components, the reader and the tag. Tags are attached to all items that need to be tracked, for example clothes in a clothes store. These tags are made from a tiny tag-chip which is sometimes called an integrated circuit. The reader is a network connected device which has an antenna that sends power as well as data and commands to the tags.

There are more input and output devices in supermarkets, for example CCTV cameras, touch screens and weight detectors on self service checkouts etc.

Intensive care

oxygen sensorThis is an oxygen sensor. In hospitals many different types of sensors are used to monitor patients.

Sensors are used to monitor:

  • Pulse rate
  • Temperature
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Breathing rate
  • Blood pressure

Theses sensors feed information back to a computer which processes it. This makes the sensors an input device.

There are multiple outputs from the computer that notifies the doctor’s of patients conditions:

  • A monitor shows a graph of breathing rate, temperature etc.
  • An alarm will be set off to alert a nurse or doctor if there is an issue
  • Information can be sent to a printer to print out a hard copy of the data

M430/0196This is an MRI scan, it is similar to a CT scan however an MRI scan uses magnets while a CT scan uses radiation.

The information received by these machines are picked up by sensors and sent through to a computer. The computer then processes the data and outputs full-colour images, some are in 3D, giving the doctor’s a view of the patients body.


Devices that help with disabilities

foot mouseThis is a foot mouse, it allows a user who may not be able to use their arms, use their feet instead. In the photo above the component on the right is what is used to control the cursor and on the left is what is used to click on shortcuts and left click and right click.



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