Google will launch 53 new emoji with gender fluency this week on Pixel phones in beta, and will add them to all Android Q phones later this year. Fast Company reports that emoji, which has been specifically designed not to be male or female, is Google's attempt to simplify the emoji keyboard with more universal characters. It is a modern interpretation of the previous predetermined value of emoji: the little yellow man.
The emoji number has skyrocketed to more than 3,000 since the original 176 symbols were released in 1999. Some of these are completely new characters and symbols, but others are new race and gender combinations for the existing emoji. The current approach is more inclusive, but it has its problems. It makes the emoji keyboard more difficult to analyze, and even then it is almost impossible to include all the possible combinations of skin tone and gender in emoji with several people.
Another problem is that emoji designs have different genres when the standard Unicode kernel does not specify one. For example, Google's design for the person in a sauna is feminine, but in iOS the character is masculine. This means that the emoji genre can change when messages are sent between platforms, creating confusion.
The new focus of Google, which we saw the first signs of last year in Android Pie, is to create emoji designs that are possibly male or female. The focus varies between the different characters. Some have medium hair without gender, while the emoji dracula has changed clothes to an androgynous chain instead of a bow tie (man) or a choker (woman). Meanwhile, the genderless person has his arms crossed in front of his bare chest to hide it.
There is no one way to do it right ", admits Google designer Jennifer Daniel to Fast Company ." Gender is complicated, it is an impossible task to communicate gender in It is a construction, it lives dynamically on a spectrum, I personally do not believe that there is a visual design solution, but I believe that avoiding it is the wrong approach here, we can not avoid race, gender, any other amount of things in the culture and the class, you have to stare at it to understand it, that's what we're trying to do: for [find] the signifiers that make something feel masculine or feminine, or masculine and feminine. "
For now , the 53 new emoji are exclusively a Google project, which means that if you send them to a non-Google smartphone, they will be assigned a genre, but Daniel thinks that other companies will eventually They will adopt a similar approach. In the long term, Daniel wants all emoji to be more universal. That does not mean that the emoji with gender disappear (they could still be accessible through a contextual menu), but the gender-inclusive emoji could become the new default on the emoji keyboard.