Unicode Consortium Announces Latest Batch Of Emojis, Including Flipping The Bird And Live Long And Prosper

The latest version of the Unicode standard has been released this week, and for those out there who love emoji characters, there's some 250 reasons to be excited about it.

The Unicode standard is what helps make it possible to see the same characters across multiple platforms, whether it be a language character, or something like an emoji. For example, if you were to write a quick sentence and include en emoji of a laughing cat on Android, a recipient on iOS would properly see what they're supposed to.

While the folks behind Unicode design a basic version of every character it supports, it's up to developers to stylize each one to best-suit their respective platform. This is the reason any given emoji looks different on Android than it does on iOS, Windows Phone, or your desktop. A fantastic example of the differences can be seen here.

A bulk of the new emoji in Unicode 7.0 is derived from the Wingdings and Webdings font families, so chances are good that you'd recognize some of them. Quick examples on the official site show a familiar "Live Long and Prosper" hand signal, a plate with fork and knife, a wrench and hammer, a dove, and a hot pepper (or is it a mini-vac?). Not pictured, there's also a "reversed hand with middle finger extended". Yes, really.

As fun as emoji characters are, they're the least-serious addition to Unicode 7. Also new here is the addition of 2,834 characters, including those from lesser-known Asian languages, historic scripts, and a couple of new currency icons, for Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat. No, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and all of those digital currency derivitives didn't made the cut this time around.

Software updates will be required to take advantage of Unicode 7's additions, and it could take some time before a full rollout is underway. It's probably safe to bet that the standard will be implemented in any next major version of your respective OS, be it mobile or desktop.

Tags:  Unicode, Emoji