The Apple Watch And Tattoos Apparently Don't Play Well Together, Say Some Users, So Of Course We're Calling It #Tattoogate
Now that the future is here and people can wear computer watches just like on The Jetsons, everyone should be excited — unless you have a tattoo. According to some users, the newly released Apple Watch doesn't work for people with tattoos. Apparently the future is able to make your watch accurately forecast the weather based on data gathered from the satellites tracking atmospheric conditions... but dealing with something as high-tech and confusing as the ancient art of tattoos is obviously just too much.
In a problem some are already referring to as #tattoogate, some users with tattoos on their wrists claim the Apple Watch has been locking up — even while they're actually wearing it. The Apple Watch's wrist detector is supposed to sense when the watch is resting on skin, and if it can't, a user is forced to constantly input their passcode and won't get notifications on the watch. Which all kind of defeats the convenience of the Apple Watch, does it not?
One of the first users to experience the problem explained on Reddit:
The watch would lock up every time the screen went dark and prompted me for my password. I wouldn't receive notifications. I couldn't figure out why especially since the watch was definitely not losing contact with my skin. ... I was about to give up and call Apple tomorrow when I decided to try holding it against my hand (my left arm is sleeved and where I wear my watch is tattooed as well) and it worked. My hand isn't tattooed and the Watch stayed unlocked. Once I put it back on the area that is tattooed with black ink the watch would automatically lock again.
And he's not the only one who says he's experienced the issue. Lots of people with tattoos that extend to their wrists have taken to Twitter to share similar stories. #Tattoogate kind of sounds like #Bendgate all over again, doesn't it?
So far there has been no official word from Apple about the issue — though for a temporary fix, people claim that turning off the wrist detector altogether seems to work.
As for the potential cause of the issue, experts speculate that it may have to do with the way in which the Apple Watch detects skin in the first place. As Serenity Caldwell of the Apple news site iMore explains, "Apple uses various spectrums of light to track the blood flow through your skin. Anything that reduces that light's reflectiveness — ink pigmentation within your skin, for example — can interfere with that sensor." So, if you have darker tattoos on your wrist, it's possible that the Apple Watch might experience some problems — although users say lighter ink colors seem to be OK.
So, will there be a fix for #tattoogate? If it's a legit problem, hopefully. Otherwise, people with tattoos might just have to resign themselves to a world where they have to settle for living in the future via their phones. Which is cool and all, but clearly not what the sci fi of the 1950s pictured.