Safety Vest Emoji and ZWJ sequence proposed

A new proposal to the Unicode Consortium seeks to add a safety vest emoji into the official emoji standard.
A new proposal with the Unicode Consortium seeks to add a safety vest emoji into the official emoji standard. 

Submitted via Peter Edberg, the new emoji could also be sequenced with the dog emoji to create a service dog to represent disabled emoji users.

The design of the emoji shows a typical high visibility safety vest that is commonly used on building sites or in dark working conditions. A sort location of between the lab coat and the rescue worker’s helmet has been proposed.

In terms of usage, the safety vest emoji could be used to recommend or promote safe practices and usage level is expected to be high for the symbol.

Sequencing options for the safety vest emoji are also expected to be high; not only will there be the proposed dog ZWJ sequence, but the vest could be combined with the builder emojis and other safety items to provide more context.

The term “safety vest” is then compared with the terms “service dog”, “necktie” and “magnifying glass” to gauge search results. While safety vest seems underwhelming in Google Trends, search results are far more promising.

The proposal ends with the suggested sequencing for the service dog emoji, which was actually proposed by Apple with their accessibility emojis to represent disabled emoji users. 

The service dog emoji has received a tepid response from Unicode members, with some actually saying the emoji serves no purpose within the standard. With this proposal however, some concerns over how to represent the emoji could be resolved.

If successful, we could expect to see the safety vest emoji in the next big emoji update which is scheduled to roll out next year with Unicode version 12 (or potentially even Unicode version 13).
Tom Blackwell 17 September 2018

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