Another year, another set of cartoonish characters that we can use in lieu of words to convey meaning while sending text messages.

The Unicode Consortium has approved 59 distinct new emoji… or a total of 230 when you account for skin tone and gender variations.

Among other things, Emoji 12 lets you show two people holding hands in a whole bunch of different skin tone and gender combinations, display images that indicate a deaf person or a person or an ear with a hearing aid, a man or woman in a wheelchair or with a probing cane.

There are also new symbols for food, animals, and objects.

credit: Emojipedia

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

  • Unicode Emoji 12.0 — final for 2019 [The Unicode Blog]
    Other new additions include yawning face, finger pinching hand, guide dog, service dog, waffle, manual or motorized wheelchair, ice cube, garlic, onion, falafel, butter, oyster, skunk, and sloth.
  • HP’s Next-gen VR Headset [Road to VR]
    HP has a new higher-res Windows Mixed Reality Headset on the way, with 2160 x 2160px per eye, updated design for better comfort, a focus on professional customers (although anyone will be able to buy it).
  • 1.3-litre Mini-PC for Intel Hexa-Core processors of the 8th generation [Shuttle]
    Shuttle DH370 compact computer with a new chassis design and support for 8th-gen Intel “Coffee Lake” processors (up to 65 watts.
  • Homebrew 2.0.0 [bew.sh]
    Homebrew is a package manager for installing open source software on a Mac…. and also now on Linux and Windows 10 computers (if you enable Windows Subsystem for Linux). Homebrew 2.0 was released over the weekend.
  • The Great Huawei Disconnect [Gizmodo]
    Huawei makes excellent hardware. But the company’s relationship to the Chinese government has US regulators worried & that complicates the issue of whether it’s a good idea to buy Huawei phones or laptops. Gizmodo raises good questions (has few answers).
  • A small notebook for a system administrator [habr]
    This is a ridiculously well thought-out article about a computer that doesn’t actually exist — a 9.5″ laptop with a ton of I/O ports, status indicators, and other features designed specifically for IT admins — it’d be called the “adminbook.”

You can keep up on the latest headlines by following Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook.

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12 replies on “Lilbits 348: More inclusive emoji”

  1. I am all for inclusiveness but I think this emoji political correctness has gone off the deep end.

    1. Agreed. With the direction we are headed, I bet we will see abortion and euthanasia emojis in the future.

    2. Why? While I’m personally more likely to use words than emoji (with possible exceptions for a few smiley faces from time to time), a lot of people do use emoji as a key part of their communication — why shouldn’t people have options that better reflect their skin tone, gender, or physical abilities?

      1. Emojis worked well as a generic (simplified) icon to give more meaning/context to text based communication. Making the emoji system more complex makes that simple system more difficult to use. This expansion not only makes it more arduous to find the correct emoji for the situation, it adds social complexity to the system also. To get a better understanding of the social implications have a listen to this podcast: https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/12/18123833/podcast-emoji-skin-tone-use-options-unicode-choices
        This deals with skin tone. It barely touches gender identity, sexual orientation, body image, etc. The emoji system cannot possibly hope to address every need. It is best left as a simple, small set of images to help convey the person’s meaning.

        1. I’ll have to give that a listen when I have some time, but it’s interesting that your takeaway from an article with the sub-headline “We need more than those choices” is that we need *fewer* choices.

          1. Yep. Those hosts are basically kids. Among other things they talk about why some people choose shades different than their own and discuss if it is a passive-aggressive move. Emojis used to convey things like emotion without letting things like race, gender, age, etc. get in the way. It seems they have now become the exact opposite. Whatever. I am old and out of the target demographic for most things except funeral plots and adult diapers. :-/

        2. People don’t have to use them if they don’t want to, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with offering the option. Calling it PC run amok is just stupid.

      2. Because it undermines the USP of emojis: a standardized, easily searchable list of generic emotion indicators.

        Adding non-generic, specific emojis puts them into an awkward spot between the original USP and a natural language.
        There are two ways from here: to cut it down (and face the ire of previously “included” groups) or to evolve it further with additional concepts (near to the level of complexity of Simplified Chinese). Lose-lose.

        I see Telegram stickers as a more elegant solution, as they allow you to import (you see something you like, you click on it and add a pack with it), choose and use appropriate reaction images pack for each in-group separately.
        Not an option for soapbox platforms where what you post is meant to be visible to anyone by default, though.

    3. Good comments, Bolo. It’s taking longer and longer to find the right emoji anytime I want to use one. There is no limit to this sort of expansion, so there needs to be a different way or sorting and searching them to find what you want quickly. Or maybe have a toggle called “inclusive SJW mode” that gives you hundreds of variations per base emoji. 😉

Comments are closed.