Apple Confirms the Apple Watch Struggles With Wrist Tattoos

By Tom Pritchard on at

Earlier this week we heard reports that tattoos screw with the Apple Watch's wrist detection systems, and it turns out that this isn't just a rumour spreading online. Why? Because Apple has quietly confirmed that it's a problem by updating the device's support page.

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.

People on Reddit and Twitter have been posting conflicting things about whether or not the Apple Watch works with a tattoo all week, complicating the matter somewhat. According to 9to5Mac, the issue seems to be worse for people with solid areas of deeper inks, like black or red.

If you are suffering with this problem, Apple does have an solution. You're just not going to like it.

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.

£300+ on a smartwatch/heart rate monitor and the best they can say is "buy a different heart rate monitor". Thanks Apple, massive help there.

So for all of you prospective Apple Watch owners with tattooed wrists might want to double check that it works straight away. If you've already ordered yours and find that wrist detection doesn't work, remember that you have 14 days to return it. If you haven't got round to ordering it yet, you can head down to your local Apple Store and try one out for size. [9to5Mac]