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What is a Device?

Generally, when we hear this term named "Device", we have a perspective that it may either be some kind of electronic equipment or a machine built to work for a certain purpose. But the device does not only mean an electronic tool instead, it may refer to anything that people created and modified according to their needs.

A plan, a process, or a trick developed by people to achieve some specific goal also comes under the term device. For example – when people write down certain queries or suggestions to a member of parliament or to a local lawmaker is also termed as one of the prominent device to express their opinions.

Now, as this article focuses mainly on electronic technology so in the following section, we will be discussing the term “Device” sticking to its context in the computing world.

In the computing world, what does a Device mean?

What is a Device

In computer technology, a device is referred to as a physical component such as hardware or some other equipment created to perform certain computing functions within the computer system. A device may perform multiple computing functions, for example, it can work to make the computer accept the user's input, or it can receive the output from the computer. There are many devices that are built so as to perform input and output both.

Any electronic element that is capable of performing computing functions and supports the installation of third-party software or firmware can be termed as a device. A device can either be present internally within the computer system, such as motherboard, RAM, etc., or it can be attached externally to the system like printers, speakers, etc.

Devices that are auxiliary in nature that is, they provide input, output, or both, are known as Peripherals. Although Peripherals are not the essential components of the computer, but they are known to provide extra functionality to the computer system. Most of the peripheral devices are inbuilt with a program known as a device driver that makes it act as a translator. This particular program called device driver converts the general commands from an operating system or an application into a specific command, or they can do the other way round that is converting specific commands to general commands.

However, peripheral devices are themselves not capable of functioning properly, so they rely on the computer system to perform their tasks.

Below are some of the examples of peripheral devices.

a) Speakers

b) Projector

c) Joystick

d) Keyboard

e) Mouse

f) Plotter

g) Display devices such as monitor

h) Scanner

i) Sound Card

j) Digital Camera

k) Tape drive

How many types of devices are there?

Devices are mainly classified into five different types that are mentioned below:

1) Input Devices – These are the types of peripheral devices used to provide input to the computer system. Input devices are of various types, such as a mouse, a keyboard, a webcam, a microphone, etc.

2) Output Devices – These are the types of peripheral devices used to accept data from the computer system. Output devices are of several types, such as a printer, a monitor, a projector, a headphone, etc.

3) IoT (Internet of Things) – These types of devices possess their own IP address and have the ability to communicate over the internet. Smart home devices such as a camera, a lightbulb, a speaker, a ceiling fan, etc.

4) Storage Devices – These are the types of peripheral devices used to provide data to the computer system as well as they are useful to store data such as music, photos, videos, etc that can be accessed later when connecting them with some other devices. Storage devices are of several types, such as a DVD, a CD, an SD card, a USB flash drive, etc.

5) Mobile Devices – These devices have the ability to connect to the internet wirelessly so as to fetch and process the data. These devices are compact and are used for multipurpose such as storing data, browsing over the internet, etc. Some of the examples of these devices are a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, a smartwatch, etc.

What is the difference between a device and a gadget?

Device and Gadget may seem like two different words having identical meanings, but they have quite a difference.

The term Device is used to indicate equipment whose proper name is known to us, while on the other hand, Gadget is used to specify equipment whose proper name is not known to us.



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