Behold 250 new emoji: Vulcan symbol, floppy disks, and more

The Unicode Consortium updates its emoji file with hundreds of new characters, ranging from a John Travolta-like disco dancer to a joystick.

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Some of the new emoji in the Unicode Standard Version 7.0. The Unicode Consortium

Sometimes it's just too hard to express how we're feeling with words -- that's when emojis come in handy.

But we were left with a virtual loss of words when it came to conveying emotions like raising a Vulcan hand signal, or flipping someone the bird. Those emojis didn't exist -- until now.

The overseer of standard icons, the Unicode Consortium, announced Monday it's debuting 2,834 new characters (PDF) with its updated Unicode Standard 7.0 version. Within those thousands of new characters, about 250 are emoji, or "pictographic symbols."

Besides the Vulcan symbol and middle finger, other new emoji include two people making out, a John Travolta-like disco dancer, a spy, a spider web, and three kinds of floppy disks. Others show a man in a business suit levitating, a joystick, and a rolled up newspaper -- perfect for swatting.

In this day and age of constant electronic and cellular communication, emojis have become ever-present in people's texts, chats, social media postings, and e-mail. Most major tech companies, apps, and programs use Unicode Standard icons so they work across platforms, operating systems, and gadgets. Now that the 7.0 character set has been released, it's up to various companies to update their software to support the new emojis.

While there are dozens of new, weird, funny, and off-the-wall emojis, it appears the update is still pretty weak on people of different races. The lack of emoji diversity has been an ongoing complaint over the past couple of years and even caused Apple to point to the issue in March saying "we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard."

Even though there are a few new emoji people of color, there's still a ways to go until the full human rainbow is represented. The Unicode Consortium said in its emoji FAQ that it's continuing to work on the issue.

"Because there are concerns regarding the emoji characters for people, proposals are being developed by Unicode Consortium members to provide more diversity," the consortium wrote.

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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