Arabic numbers on a standard digital display

While I was in Iran, I noticed that digital displays used to show numbers were either displaying standard ‘western’ numbers (that is 1, 2, 3, …) on a standard digital display like the one in figure 1 or displaying Arabic numbers on a matrix display, similar to the ones in figure 2.

Arabic numbers for some reason always pretty much stay the same, whichever font you use to display them. Letters can differ, although slightly, but numbers don’t, really. The Arabic numbers can be seen in figure 3.
Arguably, it’s no surprise matrix displays are needed for presenting Arabic numbers. And because these are more expensive than standard digital displays, it’s also no surprise that many of these displays I saw in Iran actually were displaying western numbers.

A standard digital display
Figure 1. A standard digital display for displaying numbers.

Matrix displays
Figure 2. Typical matrix displays.

Arabic numbers
Figure 3. Arabic numbers.

So what would be useful is a way to display Arabic numbers on a standard digital display like the one in figure 1. In figure 4 you can find my proposal for displaying Arabic numbers on a standard digital display. Of course, these representations differ slightly from their original, but, as they say in Holland, ‘you have to row with the oars you have’.

Displaying Arab numerals
Figure 4. Displaying Arabic numbers on a standard digital display.

June 2017

Wajid Raza used this concept to create a watchface for Samsung gear. It’s available under the name  ‘Arabic Watchface’ on the Samsung app store. Here’s a link to the app page, though this apparently only works if you’re on a Samsung device.

Related:  Twitter/FML