Some highlights from version 11.0 (via Unicode)
Unicode on Monday announced the beta version of next year’s emoji release.
The list—which Unicode made very clear “is not final”—features 130 possible new faces, people, body parts, clothes, animals, foods, household items … and a pirate flag.
Some notable candidates include hot and cold faces; superheroes and supervillains; a llama, a hippopotamus, a peacock, and a parrot; a mango; a compass; and an infinity symbol.
Rejoice, ginger, greying, curly-haired, and bald people, for the new year may finally bring emojis representative of your mane (or lack thereof).
The Unicode Consortium, meanwhile, is putting an emphasis on Asian culture, with proposed emojis for mooncake—a Chinese baked good traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival; red envelope, which typically signifies a monetary gift given during the holidays or special occasions; and the Nazar eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye.
There is also a distinct nod to science and math, with icons for a lab coat, microbe, test tube, petri dish, DNA, and an abacus (fingers crossed this makes the final cut).
Earlier possibilities like frowning pile of poo and grinning face with letters ‘OK’ as eyes have (thankfully) been dumped.
Emoji 11.0 (previously referred to as Emoji 6.0, but don’t let that confuse you) is still a work in progress. A final list is expected in March, with a rollout in the second half of 2018. It will then be up to individual companies to integrate the images into their software.
There is also talk of fulfilling a long-time request that users be able to change emoji direction.
According to Emojipedia, the feature would affect only those emoticons that would “benefit from it most,” like the train, runner, and gun. (Or, for a less cringe-worthy example, the walker, dancer, swimmer, any form of transportation, and pair of eyes.)
“Emoji with glyphs that face to the right or left may face either direction, according to vendor preference,” the update said. “However, that can cause a definite change in meaning when exchanging text across platforms. The following ZWJ mechanism can be used to pick an explicit direction.”
Frankly, it’s in the vendors’ hands, now.
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