Why the Apple Watch Has a Problem With Some Tattoos

Some inked users have reported the wearable's heart rate monitor doesn't work.

ByABC News
May 1, 2015, 1:51 PM
An Apple Watch is pictured in this still uploaded to YouTube.
An Apple Watch is pictured in this still uploaded to YouTube.
Michael Lovell/YouTube

— -- It turns out tattoo ink and the Apple Watch aren't always compatible.

Apple updated its support page this week to explain how "some tattoos" can make the heart rate sensor malfunction.

"Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance," Apple said on its support page. "The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."

People with wrist tattoos who strap on an Apple Watch may be met with a frustrating experience, as evidenced in a video posted to YouTube this week that has since racked up nearly half a million views.

In the video, Michael Lovell shows how his new Apple Watch functions perfectly on his tattoo-free left wrist while on his right wrist, which has colorful ink, his heart rate readings were "all over the place."

"When I set up the watch, I noticed it kept constantly asking for the passcode," he added in the caption under his video. "I had read that it should only ask for the passcode for added security when it loses contact with the skin, for example being stolen from your wrist."

While Lovell wrote that he is disappointed the watch isn't compatible with his ink, Apple has offered a fix of sorts in its support section, advising users they can connect their watch wirelessly to an external heart rate monitor.