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Sharp is a Japanese electronics manufacturer.

During the late 1980s and into the 1990s they produced a series of personal digital assistants (PDAs; also known as "organizers" or “pocket PCs”) devices - early mobile devices are the predecessors of smartphones and tablets. 

Sharp also produced related devices known as wapro (Japanese language word processors, also sometimes called “electronic typewriters”) that can be considered early laptops.

Several of these Sharp devices contained some of the earliest examples of emoji-like characters, many of which found their way onto other Japanese emoji sets and eventually into Unicode.

Above: images from the Sharp Zaurus PI-4000, as recreated by @gingerbeardman.

These devices include the the PA-8500 (1988), WD-A521 (1990), WD-A551 (1991), Zaurus PI-3000 (1993), Zaurus PI-4000 (1994).

Above: images from the Sharp PA-8500, as recreated by @gingerbeardman.

The emoji-like symbols found on these devices predate 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 Sharp emoji sets has been mapped to their modern Unicode codepoint, despite these sets existing before Unicode emoji standardization. Additionally, several emojis from these sets do not have a modern Unicode equivalent.