light pen

noun Computers.
a hand-held light-sensitive device used for pointing at characters or objects on a CRT in order to make or modify drawings or to indicate functions to be performed.
Also called light pencil.


Origin:
1955–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
light pen
 
n
computing
 a.  a rodlike device which, when applied to the screen of a cathode-ray tube, can detect the time of passage of the illuminated spot across that point thus enabling a computer to determine the position on the screen being pointed at
 b.  a penlike device, used to read bar codes, that emits light and determines the intensity of that light as reflected from a small area of an adjacent surface

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

light pen definition

hardware
An early pointing device which the user pointed at a raster-scanned display screen. A photocell in the pen detected the flying spot of the raster scan. The position of the spot at that instant, obtained from the scanning electronics, was made available to software as (x, y) co-ordinates.
(2003-12-02)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Input devices that may be used include a number pad, light pen, and touch sensitive display.
Other less commonly used pointer devices are the track ball, light pen, and graphics tablet.
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