£300 Apple Watch might not Work If You’ve Got Wrist Tattoos

Tattoo-ArmMight want to reconsider inking that sleeve if you’re planning to buy an Apple Watch
People love the Apple Watch and people also love tattoos . But the two might not love each other according to reports from users on Reddit and Twitter.

Those ink-sporting gadget fans have reported problems with Apple’s first smartwatch because the patterned skin interrupts the green and infrared light emitted by the device.

Apple uses a flashing green LED light to detect the amount of blood flowing through the veins of the wrist – thereby deducing your heart rate.

But strapping the £299 watch over a tattoo means the light is reflected and the Apple Watch can’t confirm that it’s making contact with skin.

Apple has allowed for uncharacteristic levels of customisation with this watch
Along with the much-hyped fitness features of the Watch, standard notifications are also affected.

“The watch would lock up every time the screen went dark and prompted me for my password. I wouldn’t receive notifications. I couldn’t figure out why especially since the watch was definitely not losing contact with my skin,” wrote Reddit user guinne55fan.

“My hand isn’t tattooed and the Watch stayed unlocked. Once I put it back on the area that is tattooed with black ink the watch would automatically lock again.”

Apple itself hasn’t specifically addressed tattoos – but it has made mention of problems with picking up heart rates on its website.

“Even under ideal conditions, Apple Watch may not be able to get a reliable heart rate reading every time for everybody. And for a small percentage of users, various factors may make it impossible to get any heart rate reading at all,” writes the company.

Using LED light to measure the amount of blood (and therefore the absorption of the light) isn’t unique to the Apple Watch either. Both the Microsoft Band and the Fitbit Charge HR use this method to assess your heart rate.

Neither of these devices have faced criticism yet from the heavily tattooed, but neither is as high-profile as Apple’s device.


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