Apple Watch Sensors Could be Affected by Tattoos

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by Maura, Apr 29, 2015.

By Maura on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:38 PM
  1. Maura

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    iPadForums News Team

    Jun 7, 2010
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    According to iMore, the Apple Watch sensors could possibly be affected by certain types of arm tattoos. Apparently the ink pigmentation can cause problems with the watch’s plethysmograph sensor, and in particular with how the sensor reads your heart rate and thus establishes whether or not the watch has contact with your skin.

    iMore says that word of the issue first emerged on Twitter and Reddit, and iMore confirms that it has carried out its own simple tests and has found that if a tattoo is solid and darkly pigmented it can cause some problems, producing very high heart-rate readings of 196 BPM in one instance.

    Essentially, the watch’s sensor works by using spectrums of light to track your blood flow under your skin. Certain types of ink pigmentation can reduce the reflectiveness of the light, and thus cause problems with the sensor.

    Apparently it is only artificial ink pigment that causes this problem, not natural skin pigment.



Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by Maura, Apr 29, 2015.

    1. The OB
      The OB
      "Spectrums of light to track blood flow"? So given that blood is not luminous it could be assumed that the Apple watch cannot be used when the sun goes down? Or does it mean the watch emits light when taking a reading?
      Makes one wonder whether that is right up there with the belief that daylight saving fades tatts, which of course will affect the watch:)
      Ya gotta love some of these "researches"; well, "simple tests" anyway.

      Sent from my iPad Air2 using Tapatalk
    2. scifan57
      There are 2 LED's on the back of the Apple Watch, along with a couple of sensors; together they're used to measure pulse rate.
    3. The OB
      The OB
      So OK, the watch emits light via two diodes. It will be interesting whether in fact tatts, or pigmentation of the skin, could affect pulse rate readings. Certainly an interesting topic and further research will "throw a light" on the subject.

      Sent from my iPad Air2 using Tapatalk
    4. Nepheler
      Well have to change to another hand I guess LOL I remember Apple watch can let you choose which one to wear?
    5. scifan57
      Yes, you can select right or left wrist when pairing or at any other time from the Watch app on your iPhone.
    6. twerppoet
    7. Asharp
      Thanks for the link, twerppoet. My tattoo is almost 10 years old and the ink saturation is not that big a deal on the part the Watch covers when I'm wearing it. I checked my heart rate as part of the Apple Watch Basics workshop I attended today, and my heart rate's basically in the standard range. And it's pretty much the same as a couple of days ago.

      I'm discovering so many uses for the Apple Watch that this issue doesn't faze me.

      As scifan57 pointed out, if the other wrist's bare, switching wrists is possible.

      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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