Technically speaking, an input device is any device you use to move data into your Mac. Some input devices enable you to input data to create documents, images, movies, and so on. The other type of data input devices enables you to control your Mac.
In the context of this chapter, the term input device refers to the essential devices you use to input data and to control your Mac. Other sorts of input devices used only for data input, such as cameras, scanners, and so on, are covered elsewhere in the book.
To learn about digital cameras and scanners, see Chapter 15, "Creating and Editing Digital Images," p. 457.
To learn about digital video cameras, see Chapter 17, "Making Digital Movie Magic with iMovie," p. 569.
There are two types of essential input devices: keyboards and mouse devices. However, many varieties of each device exist, and in the case of mouse devices, some of the varieties are hardly recognizable as being a device of that type. There are other types of input devices you might want to use, such as a graphics tablet.
Many of the devices described in this chapter use the USB interface.
To learn more about USB, see "USB 1.1," p. 709.
Introduced in Mac OS X version 10.2 is the built-in handwriting-recognition system called Ink. With Ink, you can use a tablet to write or draw and the Ink system converts your writing into text and graphics.
Also introduced in Mac OS X version 10.2 but expanded for 10.3 is the Mac's capability to support wireless devices that use Bluetooth technology. Many of these devices are available, including keyboards, mouse devices, PDAs, cell phones, and so on. Bluetooth enables your Mac to wirelessly communicate with multiple devices at the same time.