If you plan to buy an Apple Watch and use its heart rate feature but your wrist is tattooed, then you should cool down.
Some users have reported that Apple Watch’s sensor doesn’t work on their tattooed wrist, they even created #tattoogate hashtag, on twitter. So, here starts expert’s work. Already a bunch of tech reviewers tested Apple Watch to convince themselves if this is a real issue or just a fake alert.
Also there is a buzz that Apple Watch will lock itself and require a passcode to use if it doesn’t detect skin contact, this is because tattoos may be fooling the watches into thinking there’s no skin contact when there is. The Watch uses sensors that beam green light toward the skin, it penetrates through the first few layers of skin and measures the rate of blood flow in the capillaries sitting bellow the surface. However, greenlight is absorbed by the ink used in the most tattoos. If this theory proves to be true then, there’s also possibility that the watch will not work as intended for a much larger group of potential buyer with darker skin.
“Green light is a problem for anything dark, especially for tattoos, … The signal to noise ratio will be much lower for people having higher melanin content” says LeBoeuf.
So, those from iMore tested the Watch’s sensor on tattooed wrist and seems that problems appear only on dark and solid colors. Solid black and red produced heart rate misreadings of up to 196 BPM before failig to read skin contact entirely. Lighter tattoo colors like purple, yellow and orange produced heart misreads of 80 BPM (compared to 69 BPM on the wearer’s non-tattoed wrist).
Till Apple confirms that their Watch has some problems working with Dark tattoos, before you buy it test the product on your skin several times.