Get ready to express yourself in a whole new way – 102 new ways, to be exact. That’s how many fresh emoji are coming to your smartphone, computer and web browser later this year. Draft versions of these all-new characters have been released to mark World Emoji Day on July 17, 2021 and you can already vote for your favourite.
New emoji are usually unveiled in March each year, however, this latest batch was delayed due to Covid. That means the designers have had a little bit longer to work on them and it seems to have paid off in some unusual and unique designs. Voting for the World Emoji Awards is now open and you can vote for any of the new emojis in the “Most Anticipated Emoji” category.
For some, the new uses cases for the characters are pretty obvious. You will be able to send a friendly handshake in 18 different skin tone variations, while a smart saluting emoji is perfect for those patriotic moments.
The sweet “heart hands” symbol is sure to become an instant favourite for sending support to loved ones. Another shows a face peering through its fingers – maybe cringing at a horror movie or car-crash reality show. The shiny new disco ball will be welcomed by fans of ABBA and Eurovision. A troll character could be used to point out bad behaviour on social media.
Others are a little more obscure. The “hand with eye” emoji is a “hamsa” symbol, which is popular throughout the Middle East as an amulet said to ward off the “evil eye”. We can’t see many uses for the x-ray, beans or ring buoy emojis, although the melting smiley will come in handy during heatwaves.
However, the most controversial by far has been the “pregnant man” and “pregnant person” characters, which have already sparked debate across the internet. One man said that despite the intended use, “I’m just gonna use it whenever I eat too much.” Another joked “this is the emoji you send your mate after drinking all evening and scranning a dirty kebab”.
Others said it was a gesture of inclusion to the few hundred transgender men who give birth every year. “Trans men can get pregnant, AND trans men are just as much as a man than those who are born in the right body,” wrote one Twitter user.
Love them or loathe them, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to start using the new designs. At the moment the emoji are just proposals from Unicode, the organisation which creates and manages all official emoji.
The final versions will be approved in September this year. And because every vendor, like Apple, Samsung and Google, can choose how to display the symbols, they might end up looking a little bit different by the time you see them again.
In other emoji news, Microsoft has redesigned some old favourites for its Office range of products. Instead of a paperclip, users will see a miniature Clippy, the hated “virtual assistant” from Windows 97, which made a dramatic return this week. It has also created more colourful 3D versions of the other emojis, like the unicorn and smiley faces, with quirky new expressions.
This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech