Coming up 168 new emoji: what are they

With the update of the Unicode standard to version 12.1, the consortium that manages it is introducing new smilies. Mostly they're variations on the theme

There are a whopping 168 new emoji on the way. The Unicode Consortium has announced version 12.1 of its standard for digital characters, which, as you know, also includes the famous smilies. Emoji have become so important in our lives that they are the most widely spoken language in the world, as well as a way to describe our moods using a simple graphic sign.

Over two billion people on Earth use smilies to communicate. After all, an emoji is much easier to understand and allows those who don't speak the same language to understand each other. The last update of emoji dates back to last July when, on the occasion of World Emoji Day, it was announced the arrival of new smilies dedicated to inclusiveness and diversity. These included guide dogs, prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs, as well as more emoticons dedicated to ethnicities and different sexual genders.

What emoji are featured in the new update

As stated by the Unicode Consortium, the new emoji are not really that "new". Mostly they are variations applied to emoji that are already present. Specifically, 138 are designed to represent people but without indicating their gender, while the remaining 30 depict a combination of existing faces characterized by a different skin tone holding hands. There are only 26 unreleased emoji that represent different types of people with different styles of hairstyles. Bald people, curly-haired people, student teachers who are cooks, mechanics, judges, farmers, singers and more have been included. All versions, of course, include both genders.

Emoji 12.1: release date

For now, no official release date for the new emoji version 12.1 has been announced, but it's safe to assume that the new smilies will be introduced during the coming weeks via a system update on both Android and iOS smartphones.