The Apple Watch doesn't like tattoos
27 May 2015
You find yourself being forced to choose between ditching your Apple Watch or having your wrist tattoo removed, as it seems tattoos and Apple watches are not such a good combination! Following the launch of its new smartwatch, Apple has admitted that some of the watch’s functions may not work properly if it is worn over a wrist tattoo. It seems that dark inked artwork on tattoos – as well as some darker skin tones – can deceive the light sensors on the watch and impair some functionality.
Checking for a pulse
Apple announced on its website that permanent or temporary changes to the skin in that area, or the presence of tattoos, can impact the heart rate sensor performance on the watch. The ink patterns and saturation levels of some tattoos are such that they block out light to the sensors on the back of the watch, making it difficult to get a reliable reading. The watch doesn’t like dark coloured tattoos because they apparently trick the photodiode sensors and green LED lights that are used to monitor blood levels passing through the wrist, which is then used to work out the pulse rate.
Not only Apple
Wrists tattoos are also thought to occasionally block the soft ping alerts to let the wearer know they have an incoming message, while videos on YouTube show users having trouble with the stopwatch pausing intermittently when they are trying to log a workout because the sensor isn’t picking up the heart rate. The problem isn’t unique to the Apple smartwatch, as other smartwatches and wrist worn fitness devices that use the same technology have reported similar issues when worn with darker skin pigmentation. Although Apple is working on the problem, for the time being at least, the solution may be in your own hands!