In a move toward greater inclusion, the freshly finalized set of 2019 emoji addresses people with physical disabilities, covering mechanical arms and legs, sign language and hearing aids, and even the difference between manual and motorized wheelchairs. The Unicode Consortium evidently heeded Apple’s proposal last year to better represent people with disabilities, and the new Unicode Emoji 12.0 additions announced this week reflect that desire. There’s also greater inclusiveness in terms of skin tones and relationship types, as a bunch of new variants of the “people holding hands” emoji expand the combinations of genders and races. Besides humans, the new emoji also broaden the range of other animals represented, with otters, orangutans, flamingos, and sloths all making it in. On the food front, there’s now butter, garlic, onion, falafel, waffles, and ice cubes. More ominous additions include razors, axes, and a drop of blood. In total, there are 59 new emoji and 171 new variations on existing ones.
The new emoji usually start appearing on mobile devices in September or October of the year.