Computers are powerful machines capable of performing complex tasks in seconds that would take a person hours, or even days, to complete on their own. To leverage the full power of the computer, however, a peripheral can be used to do everything from extend storage space to capturing high-quality audio or video footage.
Every day, we’re surrounded by
Printers and Scanners
Often combined into one device, printers and scanners are common peripherals found in office settings.
Printers are useful for outputting data into some sort of physical form. An example might be outputting a digital document onto paper, or transferring a digital photo onto a physical medium that can be placed into a picture frame. Some advanced printers are even able to print images or words onto things like canvas or clothing. Some can even create 3D objects.
Scanners, on the other hand, do the opposite of a printer. These devices read physical media, like paper documents or photographs, and send it to the computer in a digital form. Scanners can range in sophistication from only being able to reproduce visual appearances of an sheet of paper, to being able to recognize words for use in word processing software, to even being able to reproduce high quality images from something as small as a microscope slide.
Audio devices can be split into two groups: input and output. Regarding input audio devices, the most common is the microphone. Microphones can be as simple as a plug-and-play USB device, or as complicated as a high-quality studio microphone that requires additional hardware to properly interface with the computer.
Output devices, on the other hand, typically consist of either speakers or headphones. Devices like these are useful for listening to music and any other type of audio. Speakers and headphones usually plug into some sort of “audio out” jack in the computer, or via USB, and are almost universally supported by all computers.
Storage devices make it easy to transport data digitally from one computer to another. These devices can range in size from large drives the size of your hand to something small enough to put on a key ring. With today’s technology, it is not uncommon to see the storage space of these devices in the gigabyte or terabyte range.
While computer monitors are not technically considered peripherals, due to the fact that they are integral to the operation of the computer, there are otherto consider. The camera, or web-cam, is one such device. Cameras work similar to a scanner, except that they capture video footage rather than a static image. These devices are able to capture footage in a range of quality, reaching all the way up to 4k. The quality and necessity of these can be vital to a project, so to ensure that the , keep them with you or use tethering devices to deter theft.