Can RFID Tags Store Arabic Alphanumeric Characters?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Tags Store Arabic Alphanumeric Characters?
RFID Journal Staff asked 8 years ago
What type of encoding should we use?

—Name withheld

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To answer your question, I reached out to Reza Shibli, the director of product marketing at Tagstone, a leading RFID solutions provider located in the Middle East. Here is Reza’s reply:

“While we have never had reason to do this, it is certainly possible. To do this, you would likely use the UTF-8 encoding, and ensure that your reader software is capable of handling the encoding. Note that UTF-8 is a variable encoding format, meaning that a single character can take up anywhere between one and three bytes of space.

“Arabic can be encoded using UTF-16 more efficiently (always two bytes per character), but the tradeoff is that other common characters (such as brackets, ampersands, etc.) can be represented with 1 byte in UTF-8, and will take up 2 bytes in UTF-16. Since RFID tags generally have a limited amount of user memory, an appropriate understanding of what can possibly be stored on tags now, and in the future, should give the reader an indication of what encoding to use.”

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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