Tattoos and Apple Watch won’t work Together. Why do I say so. It’s really an annoying issue for the unlucky few: the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor will not work effective if you have a tattoo on your wrist.
Inked and irked Apple fans have dubbed the issue “TattooGate” on Twitter, complaining that they must choose between their body art and their stylish gadget. Apple, for its part, acknowledged the issue on its support website.
“Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance,” the site reads. “The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”
Several watch owners complained about the problem on social media this week, even posting videos that show the watch working well on an undecorated wrist, but repeatedly locking or pausing when worn on an arm with a tattoo. Some said it appeared the watch’s screen-lock feature was triggering because the sensors thought the watch was not sitting on their wrist.
The same problem may affect other fitness bands that use that method.
If tattoos can interfere with the way light is absorbed through the skin, there so far doesn’t appear to be a problem with dark skin or scars. Some experts say natural skin pigmentation wouldn’t block the green light used by Apple, although researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have found dark skin can affect the results of blood oxygen sensors that use infrared light.