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Apple confirms that tattoos affect Apple Watch performance


Apple Watch users with a tattoo have reported problems with the heart rate sensor and other features. The issue has been called “Tattogate” by frustrated users on Twitter, and Apple has acknowledged the issue on its support website.apple-watch-tattoogate

Several Apple watch users posted videos and complained about the issue on social media, this week. The videos showed the device working normally on a normal wrist, but faces locking and pausing issues when worn on a decorated wrist. Some mentioned that the watch’s lock screen feature opening because the sensors could not detect if the device was sitting on a wrist.

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“Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart sensor performance,” said Apple.

Apple mentioned that the ink pattern and saturation of some tattoos can impact the reliable readings fro the sensor. Graham Edgell, a printing broker in Los Angeles is frustrated and embarrassed, when he learnt that the tattoos where interfering with the watch’s normal operation. However, Edgell solved the problem by moving the wearable down his wrist, away from the floral tattoo that stops above the cuff of the shirt sleeve.

Apple Watch uses a technique similar to the one used for medicine, where light absorbed by the blood is measured. An Apple representative explained that the device used green LED lights paired with light-sensitive photodiodes that detect the amount of blood flow in the wrist. However, only people with dark red or black tattoos were facing the issue.

Experts have stated that dark skin or scars does not affect the working of the sensors. Researchers at the University of California have mentioned that dark skin can affect the result of blood oxygen levels, measured by infrared light. Tech giants like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft has faced problems with gaming sensors, a few years back. Social media users mocked the issue as complaint from spoiled hipsters. Apple stated that  the Apple Watch can be connected wireless to external heart rate monitors, for users who are not able to measure consistent heart rate reading.

How Apple Watch measures your heart rate.

The heart rate sensor in Apple Watch uses what is known as photoplethysmography. This technology, while difficult to pronounce, is based on a very simple fact: Blood is red because it reflects red light and absorbs green light. Apple Watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist at any given moment. When your heart beats, the blood flow in your wrist — and the green light absorption — is greater. Between beats, it’s less. By flashing its LED lights hundreds of times per second, Apple Watch can calculate the number of times the heart beats each minute — your heart rate.

Apple explains:

Apple Watch uses green LED lights paired with light‑sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through your wrist at any given moment. When your heart beats, the blood flow in your wrist — and the green light absorption — is greater. Between beats, it’s less. By flashing its LED lights hundreds of times per second, Apple Watch can calculate the number of times the heart beats each minute — your heart rate.

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Suzanne loves to cover all aspects of Technology, Online Shopping & Gadgets. She is an Ebay & Amazon seller, who provides valuable information for the successful entrepreneurship. She has also worked for the Online Media such as PC-Tablet.com and many print media - Tech Magazines in France & US.

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