As we kick off a new year, 117 new emojis have been announced for smartphone devices in Emoji 13.0.
The newest set of pictographs include emojis of food like bubble tea and green bell peppers, animals like a polar bear, seal and worm, organs like a heart and the lungs, footwear like roller skates and flip-flops and items like a military hard hat and a boomerang. Gender-inclusive offerings for Santa, plus an “Italian Hand” and ninja emojis with skin tone options also join the list.
In addition, Android proposed five new designs that include gender variants, parents bottle feeding, hugging, empathy and the transgender flag. Jennifer Daniel, Google’s Design Director for the Android Emoji Program, explained that the company is building on their “ongoing effort to prioritize emoji that are more inclusive.” She adds, “We proposed support for all gender variants for “person in veil” and “person in tuxedo”, and introduced “person feeding baby with a bottle”.” Daniel also touched on the new childcare emoji, “Until this year, the only emoji that depicts childcare is the “BREASTFEEDING” emoji. Since a lack of breasts doesn’t preclude you from nurturing your child, we want to introduce an emoji that everyone can use.” Both Google and Microsoft sponsored the proposal of the Transgender emoji flag as well.
Android also looked to expand on empathy with the “two people hugging” and the “slightly smiling face with tear” emojis. “With a new appreciation of how people use emoji, we have been looking into expressions and body language that emote empathy, which is often lost when not speaking face to face,” Daniel said. “Slightly smiling face with tear” is a visual metaphor for feeling simultaneous appreciation and relief. This mishmash of goodness with a dash of sadness is experienced in a number of ways: When you think of the past (#tbt) and retrieve positive memories or are thankful for elements of childhood. When you’re experiencing the present and not taking good fortune for granted as it comes. And, as you anticipate the future when you maintain a hopeful and optimistic attitude.”
In related news, a Vermont bill wants to permit emoji license plates.