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1000-key Emoji Keyboard Is As Crazy As It Sounds 146

hypnosec writes: A YouTuber named Tom Scott has built a 1,000-key keyboard with each key representing an emoji! Scott made the emoji keyboard using 14 keyboards and over 1,000 individually placed stickers. While he himself admits that it is one of the craziest things he has built, the work he has put in does warrant appreciation. On the keyboard are individually placed emojis for food items, animals, plants, transport, national flags, and time among others.
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1000-key Emoji Keyboard Is As Crazy As It Sounds

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  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @02:30PM (#50591037)
    Why? What's there to appreciate? A tremendous waste of time and effort? :)
    • Agreed. At first when I read the title I was thinking Asian languages. But what in the world is this doing on slashdot? A dozen keyboards on a table all hooked up to a laptop, and all to print variations of :) and :( ...

      • by dmomo ( 256005 )

        When I read the title I thought it was going to be a 1000 character emoji. What a bummer.

    • by nult ( 3522097 )
      Agreed, what a waste of time.. He created something that has no practical purpose..outside of his own amusement .
      • Hey, I'm not looking to buy such a keyboard any time soon, and I agree, he probably wasted his time. But it was his time to waste.
        • Hey, I'm not looking to buy such a keyboard any time soon, and I agree, he probably wasted his time. But it was his time to waste.

          Obviouly, but that doesn't mean slashdot has to waste our time on it.

    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @02:49PM (#50591187)
      That's what I was thinking.

      Western languages with alphabets around the common 26-letter model construct concepts by grouping letters into words and then words into sentences. Eastern languages with logograms like Hanzi or Kanji can have their logograms 'built' as they can be reduced to a combination of particular strokes that when put together create a specific meaning, so in effect, keyboards for Eastern logograms can be assembled through keystrokes in a fashion similarly to how they're drawn through brush strokes.

      This Emoji keyboard is silly, especially as a form of logogram, Emojis only contain so many varieties of each type of characteristic. That's why we used to type them on our keyboards using ASCII or extended ASCII, because we could represent the expression without having to have a specific icon for it.
      • The problem is that emojis are now purely grahics ... and generally things people expect you're going to download to your phone.

        So when someone wants to have "Christmas tree, Christmas tree, Budweiser, Pizza, rabid weasel, rabid weasel, rabid weasel" ... the expectation is you've downloaded these from somewhere, and if you send this crap to your friends, they'll also download it.

        It now has nothing to do with the smileys it started from, and has turned into something which seems quite different.

        If someone te

        • by unrtst ( 777550 )

          ...because I don't give a crap enough to download all of your stupid little emojis.

          Emoji's are part of Unicode/UTF-8. They work like any other character, like the ones you're reading now. When I enter "N", you may see it in Times New Roman, Arial, or whatever you have your fonts set to, so it might not look the same as what I see, but it's still a capitalized 14th letter of the english alphabet. Similarly, when someone sends you a smiling cat emoji, it's just a character code, and your system/font may or may not display it the same as their system, or may not display it at all.

          Long story

        • Christmas tree, Christmas tree, Budweiser, Pizza, rabid weasel, rabid weasel, rabid weasel

          Sounds like the call sign of a Special Forces team on acid.

      • Oh, come on - it is just a bit of fun, of course it is silly. They guy isn't suggesting it was anything else. And in the process of making it all work, he has probably learned a lot of useful stuff, such as developing an idea, persisting with a project that was probably quite tedious at times, not to mention having to understand how keyboards work and how their data are transmitted and processed at the receiving end. There is a lot of this project that I find positive; don't be such a wet blanket.

        As for 'Ea

    • by nytes ( 231372 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @03:05PM (#50591293) Homepage

      Why? What's there to appreciate? A tremendous waste of time and effort? :)

      Why? See, right there you used an emoticon. It took you two whole keystrokes.

      Tom could have typed it with one!

      • by mrbester ( 200927 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @03:40PM (#50591571) Homepage

        But it would have taken him ten minutes to find the key.

        • by nult ( 3522097 )
          hahaha, exactly!
        • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @05:01PM (#50592183)

          But it would have taken him ten minutes to find the key.

          Unless he remapped it to the 1000-key Dvorak Emoji layout.

          • Is that the one that puts the five most commonly used emojis in the home row under one hand? :-) :-( :-P ;-) >:(

    • A visual demonstration of the sillyness and pointlessness of emoji.

      I've never used one. Why would I? I have words and, on occasion, an old-fashioned ascii smiley :>

      (Why the >? Look at the name. That's why.)

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Thursday September 24, 2015 @03:43PM (#50591599)

        A visual demonstration of the sillyness and pointlessness of emoji.

        I've never used one. Why would I? I have words and, on occasion, an old-fashioned ascii smiley :>

        Which is true, if you're limiting yourself to Western European languages. If you limit yourself to English, you can get rid of silly accented characters too.

        The reason for the Emoji entering our lives really stems from Apple trying to be universal. The history of Emoji is that it comes from Japan, as Japanese carriers sought to differentiate themselves by adding little pictograms. Of course, Apple had to bring their iPhone to Japan, which mean Apple needed to support Emoji as well (and for a little while, the Emoji keyboard was Japan-only)

        Emoji really entered our space when it was discovered that we can't represent Japanese text with Emoji in Unicode. It was not possible to convert because Unicode was lacking the Emoji codepoints to which you could convert to.

        Which is why Unicode added a pile of Emoji - because the goal of Unicode is to be able to universally represent text - and Emoji was text that couldn't be converted to or from Unicode.

        • Which is true, if you're limiting yourself to Western European languages.

          I limit myself to languages I can speak so, yeah, I'm fairly limiting myself by only speaking the one I guess.

    • Well, it looks like he didn't even really make a keyboard, he just took some existing ones, put emoji stickers on them, and then remapped their buttons to emojis through whatever means. I thought it would have been something like this [].
      • by unrtst ( 777550 )

        EXACTLY what I was thinking. It still would have been pretty useless, but at least it would have been something. He didn't even the keyboards out of their plastic shells to put into one big shell... they're just sitting on a table! WTF. And he "programmed" something so they'd all work? Bullshit. He configured the keyboard remapping. That's not programming, it's configuring a program.
        I was actually hoping it'd show how to make a custom keyboard layout - I could probably find a use for a small one (maybe a ro

    • by agm ( 467017 )

      I would suggest the number of views his YouTube video will get will make this well worth it. And good for him.

  • by heezer7 ( 708308 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @02:31PM (#50591047)
    I appreciate all the free time he has compared to myself.
  • by gigne ( 990887 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @02:32PM (#50591053) Homepage Journal

    alternate link []

    Tom's videos on CS subjects are really good too. Check his youtube channel!

    • That one is also slashdotted, so here's another one. []
    • Reminds me of the Chinese typewriters [] they had back in the 80s. They had a couple thousand characters on the "keyboard" which were physically picked up and stamped on the page. It took months of training just to get started... years to get proficient. Life for Chinese speakers got a LOT easier once computers became ubiquitous. But even then, there were different competing input methods and encoding schemes... It didn't really get solved until Unicode started living up to the hype back in the mid-noughties.

  • I feel crackberry beating a path to his door.

  • It's....a gigantic keyboard. For...communicating entirely in emoticons....? I think?

    (It's slashdotted, so can't RTFA, but I feel like I'm too old to get this anyway)

  • Aren't many emoji combinations or modifications of other emoji? I seem to recall this was done (for among other reasons) to accommodate different skin colors and such?

    This was the best I could find after a bunch of googling: []

  • by Aethedor ( 973725 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @02:47PM (#50591163) Homepage
    By the time you find the right emoji, you already forgot what you wanted to .... uhm ....
    • I know, right? Do you have any idea how long it took me to type out my resume using only emoji?
      • With the amount of emoji in existence plus what's coming up I have indeed recently been wondering when the first novel will be published written exclusively using emoji characters!

  • Why not just assign 2 emojis per key, and use Shift/Caps Lock to toggle between the sets? He could have used 1/2 the hardware and 1/2 the space.
    • Shift, ctrl, and alt can do it on an 8th of the hardware aka slightly less and 2.

      • And if you have the Win/CMD modifier key, you can do it in one keyboard. But then you'd have to stick 8 icons on one key. Like a previous poster said, this would work great with an OLED keyboard that would change the keys as you press the modifiers.

    • Why not just have one one-screen button that brings up all of the emojis, with the most-used ones on top? Oh wait...

    • "Guy uses common sense to avoid gratuitous redundancy" doesn't have the same eye-bait?

  • Wouldn't it be easier to have a touch pad and toggle through all the different emoji sets???
  • Direct youtube link. (Score:5, Informative)

    by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @02:54PM (#50591221)

    Direct youtube link. []

    Because that's what you were looking for anyway.

  • Use facial recognition to map current facial expression to emoji :-)

  • Looks like it's just a bunch of non-modified keyboards (except for adding stickers) taking up X times a usual workspace. From the description it sounded like there was more to it. Maybe there's more info in the slashdotted and unreadable link, but overall seems like it's =[.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was thinking he may have actually hacked together a bunch of 104 keys to create a giant 1000 key keyboard. This is boring. It's 14 keyboards plugged into a USB hub, some "fancy software", and key mapping.

  • It's a BOMB!
  • Bah! A true hacker would have done it using a chorded keyboard []!
  • I would have been more impressed if he had instead of used stickers, had programmed the emoji to be displayed on the key itself using a programmable keyboard [].

  • by sproketboy ( 608031 ) on Thursday September 24, 2015 @04:41PM (#50592031)

    Hey it's been slashdotted! That hasn't happened in years! Congratz guys!

  • Is there a spacebar-sized key for the poop emoji? My daughter uses that one the most, by far.
  • Does it have the 'Any' key ?

    Brings new meaning to the term 'hunt and peck'.

    Sorry I can't stop. Where's the stop key ?

  • Cut him some slack, will you?

    It is obvious that Tom did this pretty much useless hack to amuse himself and, maybe, to hint at the total waste of resources the emoji concept leads to.

    Tom is a really nice and interesting guy, he doesn't deserve the bleating his kludge produced here, on /.

  • What I use every day [] is nowhere near as extreme, but it is conceptually similar. Basically I took a Cherry point-of-sale programmable keyboard and physically removed five of the eight rows of keys, then glued it to the back end of another, stock POS keyboard. I have changed the key labels for ones with a bit more useful color-coding, and swapped the positions of Escape and `~, but otherwise this setup has been stable for months now, after several months of daily-to-weekly refactoring.

    To get tons of usable s

  • I get it that the geek dislikes the alleged "inefficiency:' of languages that are inherently and compellingly pictographic. But his objections to the use of the humble emoji to enliven conversations over what can still be very pricey low bandwidth connections makes no sense.

    The rebus is four centuries old in the western world; typographic art and the emoticon as old the printing press. When Unicode opens the door to greater fun and play in the use of language and pictures, I am all for it.

  • I think this is cool, but the who created this should use his smartness to event things that actually gives real value to people's lives...

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.