Apple Watch Won’t Work Well for Users with Wrist Tattoos

If you happen to have wrist tattoos, there’s a chance Apple Watch will not work like it should, according to a new report.

After “Antennagate” and “Bendgate,” it looks like Apple’s next “-gate” issue will be called “Tattoogate,” as several Reddit and Twitter users have taken to the sites to claim that their Apple Watches aren’t working properly due to their wrist tattoos. In an attempt to see if these claims were legit, Apple-centric blog iMore ran some tests, and it did show that Watch couldn’t read user heart rates or detect that somebody is wearing it, when worn by certain users with wrist tattoos. Specifically, darker wrist tattoos in solid colors cause the biggest problems, as Watch’s heart rate sensor uses infrared and flashing green LEDs to measure heartbeats. It cannot, however, detect one’s heart rate accurately if their skin is covered by artificial pigmentation.

A video from iMore further showed the difference between using the Apple Watch on an ink-free wrist, and using the device on a wrist with tattoos. Used on a “clean” wrist, Watch works perfectly, but when worn on a tattooed wrist, it starts locking up. Further, the publication showed how the Apple Watch would act fickle when tested on other tattooed body parts, proving that the ink really does interfere with how the smartwatch works. But since iMore didn’t report too many issues on wrists with lighter-colored tattoos, it does seem that not every “inked” individual may have problems using the Apple Watch.

If it’s any consolation for tattooed users having problems with Apple Watch, the company was transparent enough to admit that the device won’t work for everyone, and Apple does have a 14-day return policy for anyone who isn’t satisfied with Watch.