Keyboard Wedge

Keyboard Wedge

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A “keyboard wedge” is a hardware device or software that allows an additional input device to be inserted between the keyboard and the computer, without the computer needing to recognize the additional device. This is often used with devices such as barcode scanners and magnetic stripe readers, which output data as if it has been typed on a keyboard.

Here’s how it works: The keyboard wedge reads data from the additional input device and converts it into a format that looks like keyboard data. This “converted” data is then sent into the computer, which perceives it as data that was input via the keyboard. As a result, a keyboard wedge enables computers to accept data from other devices as if it were being manually typed on a keyboard.

The term ‘wedge’ comes from the concept of ‘wedging’ the device or software between the keyboard and the computer. This allows for seamless integration and use of the additional device without any significant changes in software or hardware configuration.

Keyboard wedges can be either hardware or software:

  1. Hardware keyboard wedge: This is a physical device that plugs into the keyboard port on a computer. The keyboard and the additional input device both connect to this wedge.
  2. Software keyboard wedge: This is a software program that redirects data coming from a serial (COM) port or other source into keyboard buffer, making it look like it’s coming from a keyboard.

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