Before the Apple Watch was released, rumors swirled that wearers' hairy arms would mess with the device's health sensors. But now that the Apple Watch is out, consumers have experienced a different issue: Wrist tattoos are apparently affecting the heart rate sensor.
Customers have reported that tattoo ink, and dark ink in particular, makes the Apple Watch pause and ask for security codes. People with wrist tattoos have also experienced inaccurate heart readings during exercise. iMore explains that the Apple Watch measures blood flow through light spectrums, and ink can interfere with the readings, since it reduces light's reflectiveness. Apple hasn't addressed the problem directly, but its website does note that "for a small percentage of [Apple Watch] users, various factors may make it impossible to get any heart rate reading at all."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.