To answer this question, I reached out to Henri Barthel, EPCglobal‘s technical director, who was the coordinator of the BRIDGE (Building Radio Frequency Identification Solutions for the Global Environment) project, a European Union-funded effort aimed at performing research on RFID hardware, software, networks and security, as well as on conducting trials and implementation of the technology in several business sectors.
Here is Henri’s response: “The so-called EAN-128 data probably refers to the encoding of various data elements, such as batch number or best-before date, in the Code-128 bar-code symbology, the subset of which we call GS1-128. In the BRIDGE project, we did, indeed, encode this data in DataMatrix 2D bar codes, and in Gen 2 RFID tags. This was, however, done in a non-standard way, because we didn’t have standards for additional data in RFID tags at the time.
“The new version of the GS1 EPCglobal Tag Data Standard (TDS 1.5) is being finalized right now, and will probably be released in a couple of months. TDS 1.5 includes detailed specifications on how to encode additional data to the EPC in the user memory part of an RFID tag. These specifications will be compatible with the ISO/IEC 15961 and 15962 standards, specifying data-encoding rules for RFID.”
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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