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Apple admits to Apple Watch tattoo issue


Apple Watch sensors

Apple has come out and admitted that there is an issue affecting the Apple Watch when worn on tattooed wrists.

Earlier in the week, numerous reports emerged claiming that the Apple Watch was giving off strange readings and even ceasing to function properly when worn by users with tattoo 'sleeves.'

An internet investigation into the issue revealed that there was indeed an issue with the Apple Watch's rear sensors not working properly with heavier ink pigments.

Now Apple itself has come out and accepted that there is a problem.

Over on a new Apple support page, the company offers guidance on the Apple Watch's heart-reading capabilities. It explains how it achieves this, and how to enable its accurate operation.

Towards the bottom of the page, Apple supplies the following paragraph.

"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."

Related: Apple bans Apple Watch apps that only tell the time

Apple's immediate solution to this problem? Well, it's not a very good one.

"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," it says.

At this point, we'd like to offer a slow clap for Apple on behalf of all our tattooed readers.

Paul Morris

May 1, 2015, 10:01 am

"At this point, we'd like to offer a slow clap for Apple on behalf of all our tattooed readers."

...Well, what do you want them to do? Firstly, people having heavy tattoos all over their wrists wouldn't exactly be at the forefront of my mind when designing a product like this. Secondly I can't help but wonder what the author's solution would be?


May 1, 2015, 5:09 pm

People with tattoos on their wrists should account for 1/10 of 1% of the population. But probably much higher on dopey Apple hipsters. Imagine life without the heart rate monitor on your new Apple watch not working!!


May 1, 2015, 5:30 pm

Oh my! what's a Hipster to do??

Jerry Massey

May 1, 2015, 5:36 pm

That's what weirdos get for marking up their bodies under the false guise of "art".

John Robin

May 1, 2015, 5:40 pm

"when warn on tattooed wrists"? Perhaps you mean, "when worn on tattooed wrists".


May 1, 2015, 5:47 pm

Anyone dumb enough to tattoo their wrists are certainly dumb enough to buy an Apple watch.


May 1, 2015, 5:48 pm

Let the hipster tears start flowing!


May 1, 2015, 5:53 pm

Typo on the page! Internet instead or internal.

Nevermind the furthermore

May 1, 2015, 5:57 pm

What, you mean among all those freaky Apple "evangelists" they couldn't find one with a tattoo to test it on?


May 1, 2015, 6:04 pm

Let me guess the tattoo morons are going to sue Apple because it was only designed for the unaltered body. Just you wait.

Matthew Schilling

May 1, 2015, 6:27 pm

The subtitle has a spelling mistake. You've been worned.


May 1, 2015, 6:29 pm

people stupid enough to have a tattoo sleeve can't afford one anyway.

Ronny R.

May 1, 2015, 6:37 pm

The watch also has a flaw where it doesn't work properly on people with no arms. I'll bet they didn't think of that yet.


May 1, 2015, 6:38 pm

Are you sure it wasn't Asians? Everybody knows they're the smartest.
Sarcasm warning


May 1, 2015, 6:51 pm

Dubya yabba dabba doo


May 1, 2015, 6:53 pm

I think the percentage is much higher. Tatts are everywhere, way out of control. It's quite ugly.


May 1, 2015, 7:03 pm

Cant some of those super rich sports players and rappers make a watch for the hood?


May 1, 2015, 7:13 pm

But the court will rule that only gay tattooees have standing... THEN it's discrimination.


May 1, 2015, 7:19 pm

And all this can be done for only $400.

Larry Farlow

May 1, 2015, 7:28 pm

A hipster nightmare.


May 1, 2015, 7:38 pm

Wrong on both counts.

I wanted to NOT like the Apple watch, but checked them out last weekend. Incredible product. Wife and I will be treating each other later this year for our anniversary.

As far as your comments about black/white; if the Cupertino employee mix is anything like the retail stores, it's a very diverse group. Extremely so.

If there truly is a problem with people of color and the A-Watch, I'm sure Apple will develop a fix. But forgive me if I have no sympathy for someone who has chosen to defile their body with a bunch of hideous ink.


May 1, 2015, 7:47 pm

Ooopss there goes 56% of the market.


May 1, 2015, 7:49 pm

Thas OK, It was only destined for white "privileged" market so everything is still OK. Sharpton to file a lawsuit calling the invention "racist".


May 1, 2015, 8:02 pm

Y'all can have your silly@$$ watch. I'll keep my ink.

Moist Towelette

May 1, 2015, 8:04 pm

people with "sleeves" wear watches?

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