If you get the Apple Watch, and you have a tattoo on your wrist right under the watch, hear rate sensor readings won’t be accurate as it’s informed by the users #tattoogate. Actually, Apple has explained the technology behind their heart rate sensor via their documentary that can be access here.
As many users complained about the issues related to the heat rate sensor readings, Apple responded to the complaints on: “What else affects your reading?” section:
“Many factors can affect the performance of the Apple Watch heart rate sensor. Skin perfusion is one. A fancy way of describing how much blood flows through your skin, skin perfusion varies significantly from person to person and can also be impacted by the environment. If you’re exercising in the cold, for example, the skin perfusion in your wrist may be too low for the heart rate sensor to get a reading.
Motion is another factor that can affect the heart rate sensor. Rhythmic movements, such as running or cycling, give better results compared to irregular movements, like tennis or boxing.
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.
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.
Some photos and videos about tattoogate has been posted to internet and this is one of those via Techrunch.
Is the sensor technology used by Apple has this huge shortage? As we have discussed that the heart rate sensor of Apple Watch has a capability in measurement Oxygen in the blood, it seems the issue cannot be fixed with the software update only. The technical sensor they have depends on light absorption of certain LED which can be disturbed by ink pigmentation from the tattoo. If you have a colored tattoo on your wrist and have ordered an Apple Watch, you can return it and get a full refund within 14 days after you receive your device.
I wish Apple could find a new technology which can cover all the shortages on the Apple Watch, and I am certain they will, so that everyone can wear this great device without any issues.
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