Unicode emoji 12.0: Waffles, otters and period positivity
- Unicode emoji 12.0 was released recently with 59 new base emoji
- In the latest update from Unicode, emoji include characters for people with disabilities and inter-racial couples
An acquaintance recently told me that he has been mistakenly referring to flamingos as penguins. Hopefully, the latest batch of emoji from coding consortium Unicode will help him address this problem of mistaken avian identity.
Unicode emoji 12.0 was released recently with 59 new base emoji, which include characters for a mechanical arm, a hearing impaired person, otters, waffles, ice cubes, flamingos and ringed planets, among others. One of the more landmark emoji is the drop of blood emoji, which could be an important tool in breaking the global taboo surrounding menstruation.
According to the official Unicode blog, the new emoji will typically start showing up on mobile phones in September-October, but some platforms may release them earlier. With 171 variants for gender and skin tone, this makes a total of 230 emoji approved by the Unicode Consortium for release this year.
The latest update is also big on recognition of mixed-race couples. The people holding hands emoji now has four combinations of gender and all the various combinations of skin tones, the blog adds.
People with disabilities are also represented, with characters for men and women in motorized and manual wheelchairs. These are supported by emoji that depict a mechanical leg and a hearing aid. In the animals and nature category, the flamingo will be joined by a sloth, an orangutan, a skunk, a guide dog and a service dog. Another highlight is two emoji that are particularly interesting in the Indian context—a temple and an earthen lamp.