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NEC is a Japanese electronics company.

In August 1990 they produced a personal digital assistant (PDA; also known as an "organizer" or “pocket PC”) device - a form of early mobile device that can be considered an evolution of digital calculators but predecessors of smartphones and tablets.

Above: images from the NEC PI-ET1, as recreated by @gingerbeardman.

This device, known as the PI-ET1, contained some of the earliest examples of emoji-like characters. This set predates the earliest known emoji sets designed for mobile phones from Softbank (1997) and Docomo (1999), as well as Docomo’s Pocket Bell pager (1995).

Note: Each emoji in the NEC set has been mapped to its modern Unicode codepoint, despite this set existing before Unicode emoji standardization. Additionally, several emojis from this set do not have a modern Unicode equivalent.