Get ready for messages about the weather, the state of the property market and references to old-school technology and even “Star Trek” cropping up on your handset’s display this summer.
That’s because the latest additions to the Unicode Consortium’s list of glyphs and graphical characters includes everything from thermometers, cloudy skies and fog, to derelict buildings, computer peripherals like mice and modems, and even the Vulcan splayed-finger salutation.
Unfortunately, the 250 new images exist as nothing more than a text list at the moment. That’s because the code that has created them now needs to be adopted by everyone from Apple to Google and Microsoft and integrated into their software to bring the descriptions to life.
But as well as quick graphical ways for users to talk about the weather, the new additions to the Unicode Standard which the Unicode Consortium maintains are actually quite important.
The code may help a smiley face typed on one device appear on another as part of a message, but it is the same code that ensures that a dollar sign is also a universal character. And as such, the new update, released to tech firms this week, includes new symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat.
But perhaps best of all, for those that hate it when they receive missives from friends and family packed full of emoji, the latest list of images includes the middle finger.
Despite the thousands of emoji already available and in daily use, the characters and their creators have run into criticism for a lack of ethnic diversity. An issue that Apple has pledged to address by forming a closer working relationship with the Unicode Consortium.
A full list of the new additions can be found on Emojipedia and graphics for each will be added once Apple, Google and Microsoft have processed and implemented the new code.