Nokia has filed a patent for an emoticon-based system to make it easier and quicker to send smileys and other little sad, happy or angry faces to your family, colleagues and mates via your phone.

Nokia's new system will allow you to send a whole range of emotions alongside a text or voice message.

"Light messaging allows a user to express a mood while having an ongoing call or while sending a text message," says Nokia's patent filing.

"The light messaging may set the tone of the communication. People react to lights and colors [sic] very deeply and emotionally."

Light relief

So when you send a message you can choose your mood and the recipient's phone will light up with the relevant colour (red for high priority and so on).

The system consists of a transmitter, a light indicating signal and firmware to select the user's mood.

We'll wait to see how Nokia uses the system in practice before dismissing this as a gimmick.

Via Nokia's Patent Application