Apple has confirmed that yes, your arm tattoo is probably messing with your Apple Watch.
Earlier this week, some new Apple Watch owners discovered something rather troubling – their shiny new devices weren’t working quite right. Turns out, their sleeve tattoos were interfering with the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor, which uses infrared or green light. Those with ink found that the Apple Watch’s sensor wasn’t detecting when it was removed from their wrist, an issue that messed with notifications and the passcode locking.
The darker the tattoo, the worse the problem – or so people claimed.
Now, Apple has confirmed it.
The company has updated its support page explaining heart rate detection with the Watch to say the following:
Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.
If you’re not able to get a consistent reading because of any of these factors, you can connect your Apple Watch wirelessly to external heart rate monitors such as Bluetooth chest straps.
There are workarounds, like turning off the wrist detection feature – but that eliminates some of the convenience of the Watch. It’s possible that Apple could remedy this siutation with a software update, but until now you’ll just have to deal with the fact that your Apple Watch and your tattoo do no get along.
Maybe move the watch to the other arm?
Image via Retina Boys, Flickr Creative Commons