OMG I’m sorry guys – I know it’s got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with travel, trekking, photography or indeed anything I usually blog about, but as a bit of a ginga myself I simply HAD to include this one! Telegraph Online, you’ve made my day!!
“Cry God for Harry, England and St George……….!” – Ned
Fans of all-star Brits Prince Harry, Ed Sheeran and Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell/Horner could be celebrating soon, as Silicon Valley executives are discussing plans to introduce a redhead emoji into phones and computers worldwide.
Apple is hosting a Unicode Technical Committee meeting next week in San Fransisco, after persistent campaigning on social media from users asking for a redhead character.
“The lack of a redhead emoji has been the most frequent complaint from users in the past three months, said Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia, an emoji website.
“This document aims to move the discussion forward on how this can be addressed,” he added.
Mr Burge, who tabled the proposal, said that there were many different ways of implementing the character, from a single “redhead person” on the keyboard, to allowing any emoji to have red hair.
Emoji have become much more diverse in recent years. Instead of just the basic yellow cartoons, users can now select a variety of skin tones and hair colours, while many now have male and female options.
But there is still no redhead option. An online petition demanding ginger emoji, organised in Scotland, has garnered 20,000 signatures. Redheads make up less than 2 per cent of the world’s population, but in Scotland, Wales and Ireland it is around 10 per cent.
- Anyone wanting to “sponsor” a new emoji character has to put together a detailed written proposal and submit it to the Unicode Consortium.
- Each proposal received will be evaluated initially by technical officers at Unicode.
- Once a proposal passes this initial screening, it will be reviewed by the Unicode Technical Committee.
- Sponsors may be required to revise their proposals several times before their character can be encoded. This can take two years or more.
- Once the Unicode Consortium encodes an emoji character, it is up to “platform vendors” like Apple, Google and Microsoft to design their own interpretation of the character based on Unicode’s brief.
- The new emoji will be released on phones and other platforms as part of normal software release cycles. This may take up to a year after a character has been encoded.
Hugo Davies, a 21 year old redhead from East Sussex said: “Gingers always get a bit of a hard time, so it’s great if we get some positive recognition. I know I’ll use it.”
Redheads have hit the headlines recently, with Prince Harry announcing his relationship with Meghan Markle and Ed Sheeran poised to release a new album. Redhead actress Emma Stone is tipped for Oscar success after starring in the new film La La Land.
Last week, Labour MP Chris Bryant drew baffled looks from his peers when he wished speaker John Bercow a happy “Kiss a ginger day” during business questions in the House of Commons.
Apple already has six different skin tones, and over a dozen hair styles for its characters but has faced criticism on social media for not introducing a redhead.
One twitter user said “Oh great. Another emoji update and still no redhead emoji @AppleSupport I’m looking at you.”
Another tweeted: “I’m not being funny but why is there no redhead/ginger haired emoji?? Where’s the equality?!”
Keen users may have to wait a while longer for their wishes though, as Mr Burge told the Telegraph: “With Unicode 10.0 just months away from release, the redhead emoji would likely appear in 2018 at the earliest.”
Adding an emoji to a phone is not as simple as just designing one: standards must be agreed between different operators and applied uniformly to prevent confusion.
Emoji are sent over networks from phone to phone as Unicode symbols but represented on each phone as the cartoons we see, and different platforms, from iOS to Android, Facebook and WhatsApp all represent them differently.
Emoji have also been in the news after Lambeth council accidentally sent out council tax statements with crying face symbols next to the amounts due. The council apologised to residents after the evidence was put to them by the Telegraph.
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