In June, Unicode—the committee that vets and approves the whimsical digital characters mobile customers use to communicate with one another—will release an army of new emojis. The new batch includes 69 new characters in all, which features 34 new people emojis, 13 new food and drink symbols, and 6 animal and nature figures.
Unicode is a character coding system that standardizes type from one device to another, or in this case, emoji. The Unicode consortium votes yearly on additional characters that could be included in code for vendors like Apple, Google and Microsoft to interpret in their own designs.
Recently, CNBC surfed through all the new characters and found a handful that stood out. Courtesy of Emojipedia, below are five of the more noteworthy digital offerings.
The breastfeeding emoji, proposed by registered nurse Rachel Lee, has made it to the list for Unicode 10.0. The proposal points to the prevalence of breastfeeding, and could be a complement to the existing baby bottle and family emoji. In her proposal, Lee pointed out that “three million mothers participate in the activity of breastfeeding in the United States at any given time,” while almost 80 percent of the 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year are breastfed.
Woman with a religious headscarf
Rayouf Alhumedhi began campaigning for a hijab emoji when she was 15, and with the latest emoji update her hard work appears to have paid off.
“If there are four emoji, four spaces on the keyboard reserved for the four stages of a mailbox, why on earth isn’t there one for a hijab for the 500 million” she told a crowd during her session at Emojicon in San Francisco last year. The woman with a headscarf could also represent other religiously observant women such as Jews, Alhumedhi added.
Elves, genies and wizards – oh, my!
From Lord of the Ring inspired elves to fairies and genies, Unicode is tackling the world of fantasy. Above are two popular culture staples: A mermaid and a vampire. The emoji update will also roll out a clutch of new animal characters, including some that are extinct.
Consider this a hat trick for Jennifer Lee, Yiying Lu and Emojination who proposed three of the new emoji that depict Chinese food: A dumpling, fortune cookie and a takeout box. “More than 4 billion fortune cookies are made each year in the United States, enough for every man, woman, and child in the country to eat one every month” Lee said in the proposal.