Remember ‘Staingate‘? Or any other of the hundreds of ‘-gates’? There is now another cause for which the public has raised its voice. First spotted by a user on Reddit who posted that his Apple Watch is not working with tattoos he had on his arm, ‘Tattoogate’ is the latest ‘scandal’ involving an Apple product. Other Watch users have also observed that the recently released Apple Watch does not work properly with full sleeve tattoos. Tattoos that extend to your wrist interfere somehow with the Watch’s sensors.
The Apple Watch has on it underside a couple of sensors such as a heart rate sensor. The Apple Watch relies on these sensors to know when it is in contact with skin. This is a pretty important part of the inner workings of the Watch as it decides to ‘sleep’ when it decides it does not sense skin and therefore is not on a wrist. What I mean by the Watch going to sleep is that users will not be able to receive any notifications once this happens and if a pass-code has been set by the user they have to enter it because the Apple Watch is locked.
The extent of the problem caused is actually dependent on the color and saturation of the user’s tattoo. The darker the tattoo the more interference it causes. This is why for some users with tattooed wrists the problem may not be that severe and the Watch might only display inaccurate readings. The color of the skin, however, does not cause any problems so you don’t need to worry about that.
A solution, however, has emerged from the situation. It is suggested that those experiencing this issue should for the time being turn off the Wrist Detection of their Watch. This can be done in the Apple Watch app by navigating to the ‘General’ menu under the main Settings tab. There is a trade-off of using this fix that you won’t be able to use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch anymore. This might be upsetting for those having this issue because Apple Pay is one of the strongest features of the Apple Watch.
Until Apple solves this problem it seems users are only left with this option. The other being availing the 14 day return policy of Apple.