Hong Kong, SAR—A campaign for a new emoji for “washing hands” has been launched by Hong Kong-based startup Lemi as a way to help local businesses promote proper hand hygiene.
Despite the fact that the need for regular hand-washing is in the news due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, there is currently no reliable way to show hand-washing with an emoji across platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and iMessage.
Tricia Importante, Head of Partnerships at Lemi, says she has seen the damage done to local businesses first-hand. “People are scared of visiting restaurants, shops, and other businesses, even though if sensible precautions like hand-washing are followed. I spend a lot of time talking to business owners, and they want a way to reassure customers in a fun and friendly way—using emoji.”
Matt Mayer, the Chief Technology Officer of Lemi noted that “in 2020, it’s bizarre that we have emojis for things like tacos and scorpions, but not for something as universal and essential as handwashing. We will submit a proposal to the Unicode Consortium to recognize a new emoji, created by combining the emojis for bar of soap and clapping hands.”
A website at https://lemiwashmyhands.org/ has been created for public comment before the proposal is submitted to tech companies and the Unicode Consortium who control the publication of new emoji proposals, later in the year.
Lemi is a free app- and web-based platform now available online, on iOS, and on Android. Designed to save, map, and share lists of inspired travel recommendations, Lemi currently boasts thousands of user-generated content covering 76 countries and 367 cities from its global community of users.
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