Apple’s interpretation of the new Unicode emojis for 2021 is generally very good. With one exception: your head in the clouds. What can it be used for?
In September 2020, the Unicode consortium which takes care, among other things, to create the new emojis, released a short list of new emotions that sounded very 2020. The breath of fatigue after 7 hours of meeting on Zoom and the face stunned by almost a year of confinement rubbed shoulders with a broken heart (by a rupture due to cohabitation in a studio). Among these symbols of a very difficult year, one emoji was particularly surprising: but what does this head in a wave of smoke correspond to?
How will we use our head in the clouds?
The Unicode consortium is not the clearest, naming the head “Face in the Clouds”. Emojipedia, reference on the subject, does not help the reader: troubled mind, deep confusion or… inner peace. In other words, everything and its opposite. It was hoped that builders and other social networks that embrace the overly formal definitions of the consortium would provide an answer. With the new beta of iOS 14.5 released on February 16, 2021 and incorporating the new emojis, Apple is not providing an answer. We will have to interpret the yellow face as we see fit.
How to describe this emoji? Already, the clouds are more like fog or smoke – which tends to steer us away from overly positive interpretations of this new boil. But above all, Apple has adopted a strange realism for an emoji whose base is a yellow head, where the face is framed in a smoke with behavior at the very least surprising. Why did you leave an opening at eye level, for example, by closing it on the right, but not on the left? How can an air flow passing through billows of smoke have this shape? Is there a character to the left of the emoji blowing in the fog without altering the position of the top of the mace cloudy ?
Whatever the answers to these questions, the interpretation of this Face in Clouds remixed by the talented illustrators of Cupertino does not give us any clue as to its possible use.
This anomaly in the world of emojis is all the more astonishing as Apple’s work has always been turned towards a triple objective, very well respected in the batch. February 2021 : offer more emotions to share, in the most inclusive and diverse way possible, while paying attention to the readability (or accuracy) of the drawings sent. In the shadows, teams of scientists and specialists in the cultures represented work on emojis – and even Memojis at Apple – with teams dedicated to illustration responsible for bringing this knowledge to life. Sometimes subtly oscillating between truth and accessibility: The Shark Memoji That Can Stick Out Its Tongue is not a scientific representation of a shark, but a fun take on the sea animal – which doesn’t have a tongue like the one found in most mammals. Apple has ruled in favor of fun over science, so that users enjoy a Face ID interaction.
And alongside our ever-incomprehensible cloudy face, Apple is rolling out couples of all genders in user-choice skin colors in February, a fix to the climber emoji to add a hard hat, and an update to Memojis to add many masks. So many examples that respond to the same philosophy behind this imperfect form of communication, but oh so important in our digital daily life. A philosophy that the mysterious face in the clouds escapes… until users decide on its meaning. For us, its absurdity and 2021 already makes it cult.
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Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.
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