Monday, September 28, 2015

What is Apple's mysterious new 'eye' emoji?

What is Apple's mysterious new 'eye' emoji?

Suggestions range from an icon for iMessages to a sign of the Illuminati

  • The new emoji symbol looks like an eye inside a speech bubble
  • It was spotted by Jeremy Burge, London-based founder of Emojipedia 
  • Symbol has been designed by Apple and isn't an official Unicode addition 
  • A range of guesses has been made but the most plausible is that it relates to anti-bullying as that is how it is read using Apple's speech-to-text tool
Apple is poised to introduce a whole host of new emoji when it releases iOS 9.1 later this year, but one symbol in particular is generating a lot of interest. 
The icon looks like an eye inside a speech bubble and it was spotted by Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia. 

What's more intriguing is that the symbol has been specifically designed by the tech firm and is not an official addition from the Unicode Consortium, the organisation that manages emoji.

The icon looks like an eye inside a speech bubble and it was spotted by Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia. He posted an image of the emoji on his personal Tumblr blog and Twitter (pictured) and asked readers to suggest what they think it could relate to

Mr Burge posted an image of the emoji on his personal Tumblr blog and asked readers to suggest what they think it could relate to. 
He said: 'To a casual observer, this appears to be just another emoji - one of many planned for the iOS 9.1 emoji update.
The most popular suggestion was that it would be used to represent Apple's iMessage feature. Others compared it to the symbol of the Illuminati (pictured)
The most popular suggestion was that it would be used to represent Apple's iMessage feature. Others compared it to the symbol of the Illuminati (pictured)

'But the strange thing about this character (which Apple calls "eye in speech bubble") is that it’s not a standard Unicode addition. 

'It can’t be found in Unicode 1.1, or any other version right through to the Unicode 9.0 candidates.'

The Tumblr blog was posted to Reddit, as well as being shared widely on Twitter, and the most popular suggestion was that it would be used to represent Apple's own iMessage feature. 

However, it is unlikely Apple would add the symbol to the emoji keyboard and not introduce it more widely if it did refer to such a significant iOS feature such as iMessage.  

Other suggestions were more unusual, with some Reddit users even comparing the icon to the symbol of the Illuminati. 

This was an 18th-century secret society, set up by Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria, which consisted of influential and wealthy intellectuals. 

It opposed the Roman Catholic Church's control over and sought to 'enlighten' people's minds. 

However, the most plausible explanation was tweeted by Twitter user Erik Veland. 

However, the most plausible explanation was tweeted by Twitter user Erik Veland who said it related to an anti-bullying campaign (pictured)
Using the built-in accessibility tool called VoiceOver (pictured) in OS X, Mr Veland discovered that Apple's own speech-to-text tool describes the emoji as 'eye in speech bubble representing anti-bullying campaign'. This appears to solve part of the mystery, but it is not known what anti-bullying campaign in particular this refers to
Developers with early access to the files of Apple's iOS 9.1 have spotted more than a dozen new additions to the emoji keyboard including a wedge of cheese, a taco, a burrito, chili pepper, new faces, a spider, crab, scorpion, and squirrel as well as a robot, unicorn, lion and turkey

NEW EMOJI COMING TO IOS 9.1 

Two new religious symbols are shown
Two new religious symbols are shown

Developers with early access to the files of iOS 9.1 have spotted more than a dozen new additions including a wedge of cheese, a taco, a champagne bottle, a 
weightlifter and a mosque. 

Other new emoji spotted on the iOS 9.1 keyboard including a spider, chili pepper, a squirrel, crab, turkey, scorpion, a unicorn and a hand with the middle finger extended. 

On the activity tab, a golfer taking a swing, a cricket bat and ball, a volleyball, bow and arrow, and a hockey stick have been added. 

While the objects tab now has a candle, a 50s-style microphone and a bin. 

New faces include a 'nerd face', a face of a robot and a lion face.

In addition to the mosque, other religious symbols include prayer beads and a synagogue.  

Using the built-in accessibility tool called VoiceOver in OS X, Mr Veland discovered that Apple's own speech-to-text tool describes the emoji as 'eye in speech bubble representing anti-bullying campaign.' 

This appears to solve part of the mystery, but it is not known what anti-bullying campaign in particular this refers to. 

It is also not clear if Apple is partnering with a specific campaign or starting its own.  
The eye emoji is just one of the new range of symbols expected to launch on iOS 9.1.

Earlier this month, developers with early access to the next-generation software files spotted more than a dozen new additions including a wedge of cheese, a unicorn, taco, a champagne bottle, a weightlifter and a mosque.

Apple's iOS 9 was rolled out to all devices on 16 September and iOS 9.1 could be released as soon as the end of the year. 

The new emoji were released in June as part of Unicode Standard Version 8.0.0. 

A total of 37 symbols were released for use on a variety of platforms in addition to five emoji modifiers that changed the skin tone of the human emoji.

The method of adding new emoji isn’t entirely simple. 

They must first be approved by an organisation called the Unicode Consortium in California responsible for developing Unicode. 

The consortium selects candidates from popular or topical requests and candidates are also picked if there are existing gaps in current emoji - for example, Unicode 7.0 had a tiger, but not a lion.
The objects tab now has a candle, a 50s-style microphone and a bin (pictured), while on the activity tab, a golfer taking a swing, a cricket bat and ball, a volleyball, bow and arrow, and a hockey stick have been added
The objects tab now has a candle, a 50s-style microphone and a bin (pictured), while on the activity tab, a golfer taking a swing, a cricket bat and ball, a volleyball, bow and arrow, and a hockey stick have been added
The new emoji were released in June as part of Unicode Standard Version 8.0.0. A total of 37 were released for use on a variety of platforms. All emoji must be approved by an organisation called the Unicode Consortium in California before being released, they are then adopted by firms such as Apple (bow and arrow pictured)
The new emoji were released in June as part of Unicode Standard Version 8.0.0. A total of 37 were released for use on a variety of platforms. All emoji must be approved by an organisation called the Unicode Consortium in California before being released, they are then adopted by firms such as Apple (bow and arrow pictured)

Once the emoji are made available by the consortium, companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft must then integrate them into their own systems. 

Other new emoji spotted on the iOS 9.1 keyboard including a spider, chili pepper, a squirrel, turkey, scorpion and a hand with the middle finger extended. 

On the activity tab, a golfer taking a swing, a cricket bat and ball, a volleyball, bow and arrow, and a hockey stick have been added. 

While the objects tab now has a candle, a 50s-style microphone and a bin. 

Several new faces, hands and zodiac symbols can also now be used, including an upside-down face, a ‘thinking’ face and a crab.

In addition to the mosque, other religious symbols include prayer beads and a synagogue.  
Candidates are also picked if there are existing gaps in current emoji - for example, Unicode 7.0 had a tiger, but not a lion (shown)
Shown is the new robot face emoji
The consortium select candidates from popular or topical requests. Candidates are also selected if there are existing gaps in current emoji - for example, Unicode 7.0 had a tiger but not a lion (left). On the right was the image that formed the basis of the new robot face seen on the iOS 9.1 keyboard


No comments: