A device is said to be an output device if it takes the electronic data from the computer and translates it into a form that is easily understandable to the user. In simple words, output devices receive information from the computer and convert it into a format that is desired by the user.
Types of Output Devices
A hardware device is capable of building a visible, audible, interpretable or physically accessible result. On the basis of these, different types of output devices are obtained. Output devices may be broadly classified into 4 categories:
1. Visual Output Devices
As the name suggests, if the user is able to see the result, or the output obtained is a picture or a video on the screen, then the device is said to be a visual output device. For example, a monitor, a projector, a video card, etc.
2. Data Output Devices
The result of data output devices is readable and understandable by the user, but it can not be accessed otherwise. Such type of output is generally textual by nature. For example, GPS, etc.
3. Print Output Devices
The devices that provide a printed hard copy of the electronic data processed by the computer are called print output devices. For example, printer, braille reader, plotter, etc.
4. Sound Output Devices
The hardware equipment used to get the information from the computer in audio formats is called sound output device. For example, headphones, speakers, sound card, etc.
Examples of Output Devices
The monitor is an example of a visual output device. It takes the electronic signal from the processor and displays it on the screen. It is also known as the visual display unit. It provides a user-friendly interface to access the information from the computer.
The projector, as the name suggests, projects the data on a big surface or screen. A projector is a visual device that makes use of a technique under which light is flashed through a lens and enlarged impressions are created on the screen. However, modern projectors employ laser beams to generate pictures.
3. Video Card
Yet another example of visual output devices is a video card. Most computers have built-in video display ability. But, for enhancing the quality of graphics, this external peripheral device can be used. The video card allows the computer to convey video or graphical messages to the user with improved clarity. If you ask gamers, they will certainly know the importance of a video card.
Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system that makes use of radio signals to locate a particular location. The sender transmits a radio signal to satellites, the satellites collect information regarding time, location, speed, etc., and send it to the receiver computer for processing. This processed data can be interpreted to get the information, and therefore, belongs to the set of data output devices.
A printer is an externally connected peripheral device that is used to provide a hard-copy output to the user. When a command is given to the computer, the processor reciprocates it and finally, the result is obtained in the form of a printed document that is physically accessible.
6. Braille Reader
Braille reader is a print output device, which is connected to the computer from the outside. It consists of a board on which braille alphabets are grooved. The grooving is done so that the alphabets can pop up whenever they are required. When a text is displayed on the monitor, it gets transmitted to the braille reader. The electrical signal from the computer gets the characters in use to bump out. Hence, enabling the visually impaired to have a pleasant experience of reading.
Speakers transform the electrical signal into vibrations. These vibrations, when pressed against the speaker’s diaphragm, produce sound. Also, speakers consist of a series of amplifiers that resonate at different frequencies, providing a significant strength to the signal, which is why a loud sound is heard. Likewise, in headphones, the electrical current running through the headphone wire gets linked to the permanent magnet present inside the bud. As a result, the air is pushed against its diaphragm. Therefore, the sound is produced.
8. Sound Card
Sound cards are responsible for the sound you hear when you play music on your laptop or computer. It is also known as an expansion card, which means one can configure the sound card as per their requirement. The sound card acts as a mediating element between the computer and the speaker. In absence of the sound card, the speaker would not be able to translate the computer data into sound energy. Since a sound card takes binary data input from the computer processor and produces sound, it is best suited under the sound output device category.