Apple has just started to deliver its brand new watches to customers and problems have already started to create conflict. Users of the watch have started to complain about the watch’s heart rate sensor which appears to be dysfunctional, according to posts on different social media platforms. They have even created an entire “event” about this problem and hash tagged it “tattoogate”.
The malfunction of the sensor might have something to do with users who have tattoos on their wrists, as the watch shows incorrect data when worn over a tattoo.
One anonymous user has stated that when he put the device on an area with clear skin, the device would unlock, but once it was placed on inked skin it would lock by itself.
Apple has introduced a security measure by demanding for a security pin if the device senses that is not longer attached to the person’s wrist. But it appears that the watch asks for this if the person wearing it has a tattoo.
According to iMore, Apple’s watch does indeed show errors when in contact with a tattoo. They have investigated the issue and have come with an explanation for the happening.
Dark colors have shown to be the most problematic for the sensor’s accuracy. Their first tests on black and red have proved errors in the sensor’s capacity of reading the heart rate, before it stopped reading the skin completely.
Apple watch users that had lighter colors on their tattoo will be dealing with the same situation.
Apple has explained that the reason blood is red is because it is light reflective and at the same time its absorb green light. The Apple watch technology is based on a similar system. The LED has green lights which are connected with light sensitive photodiodes and together they detect the quantity of blood that flows trough a person’s wrist while the watch is on.
The blood flow in the wrist and the absorption of green light increases as your heart beats. The flow in between the beats is smaller. The watch calculates how many heart beats a person has per minute(the heart rate) by flashing the green LED lights several hundreds of times every second.
However, Apple has warned users that the watch might happen to malfunction at times.
On the Apple website, the company has explained that there might be times when even under perfect conditions the Apple watch might not offer an accurate heart rate for everybody. Adding that there is a small group of users who won’t manage to get a heart rate at all due to certain factors. Some of the factors might be related to low temperatures, scars and most recently tattoos.
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