The emoji keyboard has been invented by company EmojiWorks and is compatible with Mac's OS X El Capitan and Windows 10 computer operating systems, alongside Apple's iOS 9 for iPad, reports stated.

The keyboard comes in three iterations; the basic emoji keyboard, mid-range emoji keyboard plus and emoji keyboard pro for experts, available for pre-ordering at 79 dollars, 89 dollars and 99 dollars respectively.

The plus and pro models feature skin modifier keys for changing the skin tone of a character as you can on a smartphone.

The word emoji was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, with the word coming from the Japanese words meaning picture and character. Each emoji represents an emotion, expression, state of mind, or a person, place or thing. There are now almost 1,000 to choose from.

Eight out of 10 people in the UK have used the symbols and icons to communicate, according to the Bangor University report, with 72 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds adding that they found it easier to put their feelings across using emoji than with words.

'Smiley face' is the most popular emoji symbol, followed by 'crying with laughter' and 'love heart'. 'Beaming red cheeks' and 'thumbs up' also make it into the top five.

Source: ANI