In electronics and computing, the terms "input components" and "output components" are used for describing electronic devices through which human end-users interface or interact with an information processing system. This information processing system can be a computer, cell phone, or any other device that takes information as an input, processes it and gives it back to the end-users. There are multiple categories of electronic input and output components that are used in different areas of human-computer interfacing.
Input components are those devices that are used to enter data or information into the electronic information processing systems. These devices are usually characterised according to their functionalities, and are commonly used as peripherals or integrated units connected with the system. Although their basic operations are identical to each other, their characterisation is derived from features like type of data supported, interconnection properties and style of usage.
Some common input devices include keyboards, mouses, microphones, image scanners, digital cameras, webcams, light pens, bar code readers, fingerprint scanners, game pads, television remote controls and stylus pens. All of these input devices can be interconnected with the information processing system with the help of a wired or unwired (wireless) connection, and thus, are considered generic input components.
Output electronic components are devices over which processed information can be viewed as output results. Like input components, these devices are also attached as peripherals or integrated units with the information processing system. Further, their characterisation is also derived from the type of information that they present as output results. Any information processing system that is required to interact with human users needs to have some input and output electronic components attached to it so that the human-machine interface can be established.
Some common types of output devices include television screens, computer monitors and LCDs (liquid crystal displays), audio speakers, audio headphones and printers. These common output devices are either interconnected with information processing systems using wired/wireless media, or are simply found attached (integrated) within the systems. Moreover, at the hardware layer, all of these output electronic components receive their input data from core processing units of the system, which means that they are always required to convert the received digital data to a format that is both understandable and perceivable by the human end-users.