The world's first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer road trips and Santa stockings.
The free downloadable app for iPhone and Android devices features 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world.
Created by Rotorua visitor attraction Te Puia, sales and marketing general manager Kiri Atkinson-Crean says it is exciting to finally be launching the app.
“We announced the development of the world's first Māori emoji app in May, and since then a huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes, including working closely with Te Arawa and Te Puia pakeke (elders), to make this Te Arawa led app a true representation of who we are.
“We wanted to give people, particularly our young people, another way to express themselves and our unique Māori culture. The Emotiki app is a light-hearted, easy-to-use way to share the meaning of Māori words and concepts with other cultures and with all New Zealanders.”
Māori Warrior and Wahine.
Emotiki icons include tiki pūkana expressions, taiaha, poi, hāngi, kai moana, people – young and old – even the ubiquitous Māori wardens are featured.
For the latest Apple operating system, the Emotiki app also includes a sticker pack for use in iMessage, meaning they're intuitive, easier to use, can be drawn on, enlarged, layered and more.
Emotiki stickers are made up of images or animations that can be sent or placed on messages, photos and other stickers, as a fun way for people to express themselves in a conversation without typing or using the standard keyboard emojis.
“Te Puia is one of the first in New Zealand to utilise sticker pack technology, all in time for summer road trips and shenanigans, as well as the 2017 Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival.
“A similar sticker-like system is also currently being developed for use on Android devices and will be included in the app once it's ready to go.”
The all-inclusive app also allows people to see what Emotiki icons are trending, create their own favourites board, see recently added icons, plus purchase Emotiki merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodies.
Kiri says with so many special facets to Māori culture that they want to share with the world, Te Puia will continue to add new and exciting icons frequently.
“So be sure to keep your eyes peeled – you can even suggest ideas for icons through some upcoming social media competitions.”
To download the free app, visit the AppStore or Play Store, and then get sharing. For more information on the app and how it works visit www.emotiki.com