Apple has issued a statement on its website confirming that rumors about a so-called “tattoogate” are accurate.
Reports that the Apple Watch ran into problems when being worn by a person with dark tattoos cropped up earlier this week, when Redditor guinne55fan wrote how his Watch kept locking and failing to send him notifications.
On the Apple site, the company now notes how, “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance.” In terms of an explanation it claims that, “the ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”
This isn’t unique to Apple. Other devices with similar technology, such as Fitbit’s Charge HR, are affected by the same issue.
There is a workaround for those individuals who have tattoos, however, although it stops some services such as Apple Pay from working. Users can turn off the wrist-detection feature, or (if possible) switch to wearing the device on the other wrist if it is doesn’t have tattoos. Another solution is connecting your Apple Watch wirelessly to external heart rate monitors, such as Bluetooth chest straps.
Or, of course, you could just not get a tattoo to begin with. Although it may be a bit too late for some people to consider that.