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Apple Confirms Tattoos Can Interfere With Apple Watch

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,441
11,827



Apple has confirmed on a support page on its website that dark wrist tattoos have the potential of interfering with the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor (via Trusted Reviews). It was reported earlier this week that some tattoos, particularly dark or saturated ones, can affect the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor and ability to register contact with the wearer's skin.
"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."
Apple does not offer a useful solution beyond connecting the Apple Watch wirelessly to external heart rate monitors such as Bluetooth chest straps, suggesting that users with tattoos covering the wrist may be forced to deal with this issue. Apple outlines skin perfusion and rhythmic movements as two other factors that can affect the performance of the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor.

Article Link: Apple Confirms Tattoos Can Interfere With Apple Watch
 

nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
7,290
5,567
This isn't surprising. All the people with sleeve tattoos on both arms, please cancel your orders so we can finally get our Apple Watch that have been processing since 4/10. Thank you!

I'm joking. Or maybe not. :)
 
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thekeyring

macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
3,441
2,075
London
In the end you have to wonder where you draw the line.

Should people with no arms complain the watch won't work for them? But this, I'm not sure. Tattoos are the kind of thing you'd hope they would have accounted for.
 
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Imserious

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2011
52
13
Australia
"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." - Apples website.


If you want this device and you so happen to have a tattoo in place of where the heart rate sensor goes then you will make accomodations. Apple shouldn't have to apologize or make statements because of a persons personal choices. **** about "tattoogate"
 
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1080p

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,849
2,425
Planet Earth
"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."



What about those afflicted with Vitiligo?




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Poochi

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
875
236
Toronto
Apple wants to sell as many watches as they can to as many people as they can reach. How is it not their problem? Apple is a business. Anything that can dissuade a customer from purchasing your product is a problem.

Not a problem for Apple. The customer is not compatible.

Like drug companies, they can warn the side effects or potential drug allergies and not all patients can take it.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,580
14,371
In between a rock and a hard place
Not a problem for Apple. The customer is not compatible.

Like drug companies, they can warn the side effects or potential drug allergies and not all patients can take it.

Bad analogy. Drug companies are businesses too. They also want as many people as possible who have a certain affliction to take their drugs. If the side effects interfere with the customer purchasing their drug, it's a problem for the drug company. That's why they continue to develop drugs. Drugs with fewer side effects are accessible to more customers.

With the watch, Apple will be searching for rememdies for the ink issue so they can reach the largest audience possible. Make no mistake about it, Apple wants this watch on as many wrists as they can get it.
 
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rictus007

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
252
461
Other alternative: press firmly with your index finger over your radial artery, and start counting for up to 60 seconds... Use Apple watch to keep track of the time ...
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,107
8,593
San Diego, CA, USA
Dang, and I just got that jet black tattoo on my wrist with an actual-size shadow of an Apple Watch, that says "Attach Apple Watch Here" in the middle. How ironic.
 
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penajmz

macrumors 68040
Sep 11, 2008
3,797
4,026
New York City
I have tattoos. I like them but not on my wrists. I feel bad for people that want an Apple Watch and have wrists tattoos. That sucks!
 
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springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,142
947
What about those afflicted with Vitiligo?

If they happen to have a tone-border where the sensor is, you would think they might also have trouble getting a reliable reading.

If in doubt, schedule an appointment to try one on.

When it comes to devices which sense our bodies, there will always be some bodies where it won't work as well, if at all. That's true of "wearable" consumer technology and professional medical equipment, too. People with certain metallic implants can't use MRI machines, for instance.

Maybe the Apple Watch works just fine with those affected by Vitiligo, I don't know. My point is that nobody should be surprised that the reliability of a transcutaneous light sensor would be affected by extreme skin discolouration, self-inflicted or otherwise.
 
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PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 603
Mar 7, 2007
5,104
1,871
Midwest America.
Ink is the issue. Not skin pigment.

Some (many?) of the tattoo inks have a high metallic content that is probably freaking out the sensors. People with tattoos often experience burning and scarring after a trip through an MRI machine. I've thought about getting a tattoo, but have been dissuaded against it by that, and other issues.

MRI machines have been known to rip piercings and implanted metal bits out of people. It's not painless...

While getting an MRI for my knee recently, the techs asked, rather pointedly, if I had any piercings 'down there'. I was rather surprised at their directness, and asked why. They had a female that had a labia piercing that got very hot, and tore out during an MRI study of her knee. It resulted in her needing to go to the ER for stitches and antibiotics. YIKES! She said that she didn't mention it because it 'wasn't supposed to be magnetic'. Guess she was wrong. :eek:

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Image

What about those afflicted with Vitiligo?

I wouldn't think it would be a problem. It's a natural discoloration. Tattoos aren't.

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Yea, this guy is gonna have a problem with wearables. :eek:

Image

Interesting...

The only thing I can say is...

Welcome to your new son-in-law... :eek:
 
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Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,634
2,661
Not far from Boston, MA.
Bad analogy. Drug companies are businesses too. They also want as many people as possible who have a certain affliction to take their drugs. If the side effects, like the tattoo, interferes with the customer purchasing their drug, it's a problem for the drug company. That's why they continue to develop drugs and the ideal drug will have as few side effects as possible. So they can reach a larger audience.

Tattoos are a "side effect"? Of what? And the ideal drug won't cause side effects like tattoos? You should gather your thoughts before writing- this paragraph really is a muddled mess.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,580
14,371
In between a rock and a hard place
Tattoos are a "side effect"? Of what? And the ideal drug won't cause side effects like tattoos? You should gather your thoughts before writing- this paragraph really is a muddled mess.

/reads own quote

Holy crap. That is bad. But, um, yeah... I didn't write that. I'm babysitting a thousand monkeys, who coincedentally have a thousand typewriters. It still doesn't look Shakespearean. :eek:

After a cup of coffee, I will go fix that. For them.;)
 
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doelcm82

macrumors 68040
Feb 11, 2012
3,567
2,524
Florida, USA
Apple wants to sell as many watches as they can to as many people as they can reach. How is it not their problem? Apple is a business. Anything that can dissuade a customer from purchasing your product is a problem.
The cost of making the heart sensor work with tattoos is not worth the benefit of making those sales. Apple wants to sell to people with tattoos on their wrists, but not enough to raise the price and lose sales to the rest of us.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,580
14,371
In between a rock and a hard place
The cost of making the heart sensor work with tattoos is not worth the benefit of making those sales. Apple wants to sell to people with tattoos on their wrists, but not enough to raise the price and lose sales to the rest of us.

I'm confused. 1. Where are you getting your information regarding the cost of the sensor? 2. How does a sensor that works with dark tattoos affect a sale to the rest of us? If your answer to question 2 is the cost would increase, please circle back to question 1.

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Rhythmic movements, like drumming?

Do not expect accurate heart rate monitoring during sex.:eek:
 
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