Ever wonder if people ever chiseled cuneiform into stone tablets to chat with their friends? Was teletype an effective way to express a desire for, say, tacos? Those forms of communication may be things of the past, but the future is shaping up to be even better. Soon, Rich McCormick reports for The Verge, a new keyboard will offer the ultimate communications shortcut: emoji.
The keyboard, made by a company called EmojiWorks, is the result of a weird communication quandary. Emoji are an extremely efficient way to convey complex messages through images, but they're really difficult to type. Though both Macs and PCs support emoji and have "secret" emoji keyboards, they're not easily accessible. Instant messenger programs aren't much better; they often require an emoji search that makes it tough to quickly send praise hands or dancing girls.
The EmojiWorks keyboard could change all of that, writes McCormick. Instead of forcing people to search for characters, the keyboard features emoji alternatives on every key along with a red "emoji" key that unlocks each one. A unicorn is typed with "emoji+1" and a peace sign uses "emoji+w." There's even an uber-emoji option with multiple skin tones, hot dogs, and the always-essential pizza emoji. (It shares space with its close counterpart, the taco.)
Emoji-obsessed typists will have to throw down between $79.95 and $99.95 moneybags to buy this new tool of self-expression, which starts shipping in December. If you're balking at the price of something you never knew you needed, just think of it this way: It weighs a lot less than a stone tablet.