Having a tattoo could mess with your Apple Watch

1 May 2015

Tattoo-loving Apple fans everywhere are paying the price of getting ink done after Apple admitted that having a tat on your wrist messes with the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch tattoo issue was first reported by Trusted Reviews, who spotted that some social media users were complaining that the recently-launched device was unable to read their heart rates when they placed it on their heavily-tattooed wrist. The site has since noticed a support page on Apple’s website that confirms the issue.

“Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance,” wrote the consumer tech giant. “The ink, pattern and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”

If you do have a wrist tattoo and don’t want it to affect some of your watch’s health features, Apple advises you use a wireless external heart rate monitor, such as Bluetooth chest straps.

Rollout issues

Released on 24 April, the rollout of Apple’s latest hardware – its first all-new category of hardware since the release of the iPad in 2010 – has not been without a niggle or two. Earlier this week it was revealed that a flaw was found in one of the watch’s key components just before the device’s launch, causing a hold-up in its rollout.

The component in question is what Apple calls the ‘taptic engine’, a mechanism designed to produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist. Reliability testing showed some taptic engines supplied by Chinese firm AAC Technologies Holdings Inc failed over time. The same problem didn’t occur with gear produced by a second supplier, Nidec Corp, so Apple has now shifted nearly all of its production of the component to the Japanese firm.

Whatever the reasons, Apple has been struggling to ship the number of devices that have been preordered. Statistics published by online commerce market research firm Slice Intelligence revealed that only 22pc of already-purchased watches were dispatched in the US on launch weekend. Estimated shipping dates currently range from a couple of weeks to months.

Tattooed man image via Shutterstock


Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic