All About Japan

A Brief History of Emoji

| Technology , Smartphones

Emoji are perhaps one of the greatest “accidents” of contemporary technology. We don’t mean the actual characters themselves—they were deliberately created by Japanese cell phone companies decades ago. The “accident” aspect is that the little images are now everywhere in the world.

While you might think words and phrases like “standards,” “committees” and “Unicode Consortium” sound terribly boring, this video by British YouTuber Tom Scott is actually a fun introduction to the topic. In addition to explaining the history, you’ll also find out what sort of emoji you can expect to be available in 2016 and 2017!

If you do happen to recognize the red-shirted man in the video, you may very well have seen his “Real Life Emoji Keyboard” video from 2015. If you haven’t seen the video, we present it above in all its glory.

If you’re interested in learning more about how text works on all your electronic devices, the YouTuber was also featured in this Computerphile video explaining the “Unicode Miracle.” It’s a bit more technical, but absolutely fascinating if you’re at all interested in computers and technology.

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