Sleeve-tattooed people may not be able to use the Apple Watch

May 1, 2015

Like Apple’s newest—and certainly lustworthy—gold Macbook, the Apple Watch is more of a status symbol than a piece of functional, wearable tech. It hasn’t stopped us from wanting one, of course, but thus far, the reviews of the iTimepiece have been clear: It’s pretty, sure. Yes, it integrates decently with your iPhone. But we haven’t yet fully unlocked the potential of the Apple Watch.

Curiously, though, a few problems have already begun to emerge with the gadget. The most prominent problem, then, may be a big issue for sleeve-tattooed metalcore teens: The Apple Watch, reviewers found, malfunctions when used on tattooed skin. Think Levi the Poet is pissed? We’d bet on it.

The problem, reports the BBC, stems from the sensors on the back of the watch. The watch apparently locks up when place on tattooed and darker-coloured skin, and doesn’t deliver the helpful buzzes and pings that come from incoming messages. Furthermore, it seems that the watch may also struggle to pick up heart rates from people with tattooed wrists—a problem that’s also been noted in other pieces of wearable tech.

Here’s how Apple explained the problem.

[quote]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.[/quote]

Welp. So, if you’re heavily tattooed, it may be best to skip out on the Apple Watch right now. There’s good news, though: You can spend that $700 on more tattoos.


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