A pictographic communication system isn’t new nowadays. All over the world you can find archaeological evidence of how people have tried to communicate with the help of graphic symbols. Still, no one could imagine that smiling pile of poo would be in Oxford Dictionary without any denials! When millions of Japanese begun to use their phones to send each other pictures, mobile operators were faced with difficulties. Pictures can weigh as much as you want, but standardized image caused by a preset code occupies the same space as the other symbols.
The main difference is that digital icons have more interpretations and connotations than the words. Although Emoji have become a real breakthrough in cross-cultural communication, they are not always well understood. This leads to the fact of growing demand for new Emoji. So will emojis & stickers and the Desimoji App herald the future of communication?
We should understand at first how emojis are administered on computers and mobile devices to know what is waiting for them. When there is a relatively limited set of emojis or emoticons, it is quite easy to insert an ordinary “smile” or “cake”. But the more emojis there are in the system, the harder it is to choose even being aware where to get emojis stickers. Developers have to divide emojis into categories (but to which category would you specify a “pile of poo” or a “henna hand”?), that is why it becomes more tedious to input emoji.
There are those who compare emoji with Chinese characters. But in fact these systems of writing have little in common. Chinese writing is logographic. Every form inside the symbol indicates the word, morpheme and phoneme. Emoji here represents some concepts. And how will you enter them? Of course, you can use mnemonic techniques: for example, enter: cool: for emoji with dark sunglasses. But usually people can remember only a few of such reductions, so in case of a large set of emojis that technique won’t work. Furthermore, the meaning of emoji is reduced to the selected codeword. However it may have several meanings.
This ambiguity of emojis hinders the transmission of the meaning. We all usually understand a smiley straightforwardly, but what does emoji “information desk person” actually mean? Emojis have their own subtexts, based on the context in which they are used, so they are usually understandable only to a narrow circle of friends.
It is necessary to add new emojis if you want to make your app popular and up-to-date even if it is not a narrow specialized emojis stickers app. Due to the fact that they will be increasingly difficult to enter and to choose, they will remain an amusing addition to the classic forms of communication. Desimoji App has attempted to do this.
It should also be borne in mind that different devices show emoji differently. Take emoji with a “dancing man”. On Apple devices it will be a woman dancing flamenco, and Android devices will show a disco dancing man. Most manufacturers use emoji’s specifications defined by Unicode Consortium, and everything depends on them now. Devices need to use the standards, otherwise emojis that are visible on one device may not be visible on the other ones. It means emoji stickers on iPhone can differ from the same emoji stickers on FaceBook desktop version.
The most interesting thing is how emoji advances Apple. The company challenges the manufacturers of other systems (Google, Microsoft), which have to introduce this standard as quickly as possible. It’s funny to see Apple to be first somewhere, because usually they prefer to be “second but better” (or, as they prefer to say, wait until the technology will develop to the necessary level). But in case of emoji, that has reached the Unicode standard, Apple became the first to introduce them.
The complexity of creating emoji for different races (including the europoid one) is that you start seeing yourself in that emoji (or you don’t, if your skin color is not included in that six phototypes provided by the Fitzpatrick scale). What if you’re Portuguese-Scot with freckles, wavy hair and pale olive skin? You should select emoji with wavy hair, freckles, or the closest skin color? And how about those who have a beard or moustache? Of course, in this case we’re speaking about the establishment of full-fledged avatar to what people get used more and more - either customize the appearance of a character from a video game or a photo that you upload to any service.
When you choose an avatar in game, you usually think, whether you want to make it look like an idealized self-image, or something completely different. But what picture will I put in my profile in a social network: a professional picture where I look perfect and therefore it’s a bit ordinary and boring, or a ridiculous photo on the beach that everyone likes, and sees that I’m funny, but at the same time may be lazy? If you’re already tired of your samey-avatar in every message you send then check out the hundreds of unique stickers in Desimoji App by Techspark. A worthy alternative.
Apple Watch opens a window into the future of emoji. Watches allow you to change the facial expressions of an animated smiley. To make this possible, Apple had to take as a basis an ordinary yellow smiley face, even though it looks a bit like Pacman in 3D. But this is only the first version. Imagine if emoji could be worn on the clock, or you can scroll through hundreds of possible changes of emoji - just like in the Bitstrips app, which allows you to customize every detail and synchronize everything through the cloud between home and mobile platforms.
Although it is still technically possible, Apple will probably want to emoji convey emotions rather than appearance. Other functions of hours, such as “transfer of heartbeat”, are rather abstract and more important than their emotional content. The only irrevocable thing is the emoji meanings. Perhaps one day Apple Watch will read your “true” emotions and transmit a relevant emoji with the message, so you won’t have to enter it. This will avoid a lot of misunderstandings.
Millennials and emojis
As for the shrimp and piles of poo, no one knows what will happen to them. In the future developers are going to add the following emojis, that people ask to include the most:
- bottle with a cork that shoots
- wedge-shaped cheese
- hot dog
- unicorn’s face
We asked Desimoji App’s Founder for his thoughts: “In my mind, language is social technology and cultural adaptation. In recent times we have seen the explosion in use of first text messaging and then instant messaging via apps like Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Twitter etc.
Millennials in particular covet instant and creative methods of communication. The demand and use of emoji and stickers in messaging friends and family, is truly a growing global trend.
However, so far there have been various gaps in representation and localisation of these apps. The vast majority of apps target Western consumers and hence reference primarily Western cultural themes. But frustration can be the mother of invention!
Desimoji is a unique and pioneering app, proudly created to bridge the gap primarily between South Asia (‘Desi’), the Subcontinent, Middle East and the West. Our tagline of ‘Fusion Fun for You’ will hopefully become apparent once the user downloads the Desimoji App for FREE, and signs in. I hope they enjoy it and share with their friends and family, and suggest new ideas. It was made for them.”
Think yourself what conclusions can be drawn, but I believe that the future of non-human emoji/stickers and of instant communication, depends on who will ask to add something new and “louder” than what’s come before. It seems no one would afford to separate emoji and communication.