Bad news for trendy, early-adopters

Don't worry, I'll buy you an iPad when they come out: probably in 90 years

Don’t worry, I’ll buy you an iPad when they come out: probably in 90 years

Tattoos interfere with Apple Watch’s capabilities.

Since the Apple Watch uses your heart rate to determine whether you’re wearing it, you might not be able to use Apple Pay, receive notifications, place calls, or use certain apps if you have tattoos on your wrists.

Some Apple Watch wearers on Reddit and Twitter complained about the tattoo issue, and Apple blog iMore confirmed that the problem exists.

The issue stems from the way that the Apple Watch senses your heartbeat. According to Apple, the back of the Watch rapidly flashes green and infrared light at your skin, which gets absorbed or reflected by your red blood. When your heart beats, there is more blood in your wrist, and there is less blood between beats. By sensing the timing between your heartbeats, the Apple Watch can calculate your heart rate.

As it turns out, solid-colored tattoos — particularly red ones — also absorb the green light and reflect red light. Black tattoos, which absorb both green and red light, can also screw up the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Bad news for trendy, early-adopters

  1. yes, i believe i hear the world’s smallest violin tuning up

  2. housecat

    Sigh. It’s so hard to be a hipster these days. Should I have my faux-tribal snake tattoo removed, or should I put the watch on my other wrist? What to do… What to do…