What is Digitizer? Working With Common Examples

What is Digitizer full details

In this post, we are going to discuss all the important facts about digitizer including its working, how digitizer works and it’s types. But for those who want a quick definition of it;

A digitizer is a hardware machine that converts an analog signal such as sound, image, signal, light, etc. into a digital format that is widely accepted in machine language.

So, for those who want to know more about this digital convertor, let’s begin.

What is a Digitizer?

Briefly, a digitizer is a machine, a hardware device, or an input device that converts analog signals such as sound, light, image, audio, or other signals into a digital format for storage, transfer, and editing using computer means.

In short, it converts an analog signal such as from a television or camera into a series of numbers that could be stored on a computer. This process is called digitization

Example: Digital camera, Audio digitizer, Graphics tablet or Digital Tablet, Accelerometer, and gyroscope, Scanner, Tablet, and Smart Phone.

The most common type of digitizer is the graphic tablets which convert graphics and pictorial data into binary inputs. In addition, a graphic tablet is used for fine works of drawing and image editing.

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How does a Digitizer Work?

Let’s take a look at the components of a touch-enabled mobile device to get a better idea of how a digitizer works.

A motherboard, a plastic or metal frame, an LCD screen, and a digitizer—all powered by a battery—come standard with every touchscreen device. As well as a charging port, earpiece microphone and camera as well as a headphone port, the phone also contains input buttons and a headphone jack for connecting headphones (lock, camera, volume).

Consider the motherboard and touch assembly while describing the graphic tablet’s workings. So, a touch initiates the operation of a digitizer as a whole. Users using touchscreen phones really transmit analogue signals by touching the screen.

Small, undetectable electrostatic nodes are scattered throughout the digitizer’s screen in an equidistant pattern. These nodes are engaged when the user touches the screen.

In terms of coordinates, these active nodes indicate a specific area on the screen. A flex cable connects the graphic tablet to the motherboard, which receive data about the touch location from the graphic tablet.

The motherboard evaluates the supplied data and triggers the touch-specific function from its memory of the currently displayed LCD image.

So, if someone presses the dial pad’s middle number five, the graphic tablet will send those coordinates to the motherboard, which will then process and activate the dial pad screen’s number five function. The LCD would show the output, which could be seen through the graphic tablet.

The entire operation is completed in less than a millisecond.

What is the purpose of a Digitizer in a Mobile Device?

Touchscreens on mobile devices make use of digitizers. It is the graphic tablet’s job to translate the user’s touch motions, such as a swipe or tap, into an input digital signal.

Common Forms of Digitizer (Types of Digitizer)

These are various forms of digital convertor hardware (already stated earlier) but in this section, we are going to discuss a few of them in detail.

Graphic Tablet

It is a tool used to convert hand-drawn images or text into a format suitable for computer processing.

The digital graphic tablets appear the same as the normal iPad or android tablet. These tablets come with a special digital pen to draw on their flat surface which is called a stylus. With this stylus digital pen, the tablet screen is very sensitive to writing which makes it perfect for creating a digital signature.

These digital tablets are used by the artist to capture the sequence along with their pen lifts and strokes. This altogether provides very flexibility to their artistic work.

The working of this digital convertor is based on the conversion of the analog touch (pressure-sensitive) into recognizable handwritten text or typewritten words.


scanner is a digitizer

Everyone saw a scanner in a photoshop or in stationary. Scanner— an input device that works more likely as a photocopy machine. This flatbed scanner is used to convert the data and images that are available on paper and transfer them into the digital form.

Thus, this is a perfect example of an optical input device. These scanner devices use light as an input source, by moving a camera beneath a transparent glass surface to convert an image of a document or a photograph into an electronic or digital form that can be stored in a disk.

Moreover, you can edit these scan images or documents before they are ready to print. Here is some other type of digital scanners that are used on daily basis:

  • Motion picture film scanner digitizes motion picture film in one frame at a time, photographing, storing in a sequence of digital images.
  • Barcode scanner scanning the printed barcodes and capturing the binary data.

Tablet and Smartphone Digitizers

Tablet and Smartphone Digitizers

Various types of finger touch-based tablets and smartphones are available in the market.

With touchscreen technology, we do not require a keyboard and mouse to provide input to the device. Generally, there are three common types of touch-screen digital convertor: 

  • Passive digitizers are basically a plastic stylus that you can use on the screen of a tablet or smartphone for increasing the accuracy.  
  • Active digitizers, a special type of pen, are used to convert the analog signals that come from a sensor grid that’s integrated with the display and a digital pen (commands) into digital signals that the device can read.
  • Dual digitizers have both properties of passive and active digitizers. However, fingers can be used with the GUI (graphical user interface) for common activity. While the stylus pen can be used for artistic drawing or writing.

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Audio Digitizer

Audio Digitizer in detail

Having a vast market of audio digitizers, with a great feature of super-easy setup, digital audio recording, recording from the microphone, and many more other features that will definitely impress you.

Most of the equipment such as a computer or TV has an audio digitalization. And because of this, even you connect an analog microphone in the computer microphone jack it works like magic.

In this process, the analog audio signal is processed by a distinct sound card into a digital form that is used by your pc software that is installed on your computer.

Function of Digitizer

The major function of the Digitizer is that the analog impulses from your touch instructions are converted into digital signals that the device can read the signals.

Uses of Digitizer

In order to make hand-drawn pictures suitable for computer processing, users utilise a digitizer tablet (also known as a graphics tablet). An image is often sketched on to a computer display or screen using a stylus.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Digitizer?

The advantages and disadvantages of a Graphic tablet are as follows:


It’s easier and more natural to create diagrams using a pen on a graphic tablet than with a mouse. In addition, a high degree of precision may be achieved.


Using a graphic tablet for general selection operations, such as pointing and ticking or clicking on menu tools, has its drawbacks. Graphic tablets are also much more costly than a mouse.

Quick Summary

  • A digitizer is an input device that converts analog or electronic signal/information into digital form in a desirable format.
  • Basically, a scanner can be used by the computer to produce an image of whatever the camera had captured.
  • It is also used as an input device receiving information to represent the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) application and PC based software.

General FAQ

Is Digitizer an Output Device?

No, Graphic tablets are Input devices that transform analog data into digital data. They are the devices that take a video or photographic signal and turn it into a sequence of numeric values that may be stored in a computer or other digital device.

Digitizer is Input or Output Device?

It is an Input Device.

What is Digitizer in Computer Graphics

Analog or physical input is converted into digital pictures using a graphic tablet. As a result, they’re connected to both scanners by Bluetooth.

What happens if the digital screen digitizer breaks?

As we know, the digitizer is liable for converting a desirable analog signal into a digital signal. So, my answer is quite simple, if the graphic tablet breaks, there is very little chance that screen related responses get registered.

Do all touchscreen devices have a digitizer?

Yes, all the touchscreen device has a digitizer. Moreover, a touchscreen is also a type of graphic tablet, and without it, your command is meaningless and doesn’t get registered.


This article on the topic Digitizer ends here. Before going back, check other informative articles related to information technology and computer science.