It's time for another "gate" scandal involving Apple.
What's it about? Apple Watch and tattoos, of course. The new controversy, dubbed Tattoogate by some, is about how certain Apple Watch functions may not work when the smartwatch is worn over tattoos. Several reports have shed light on the problem in recent days, but now Apple has issued a confirmation of sorts.
In a support page on Apple's website, the company revealed the following: "Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."
Apple Watch features LED lights and light-sensitive photodiode sensors in order to calculate the amount of blood flowing through your wrist, which helps it to determine heart rate. That's how Apple Watch is supposed to ideally work, but videos posted to YouTube and reports from sites like Reuters and iMore have proved otherwise.
This isn’t the first time Apple has been hit with a scandal after the launch of a new flagship device. Every iPhone launch, it seems, has been followed by a "gate" associated with isolated reports from buyers who have encountered an issue. We had "Antennagate" in the past, for instance, as well as "Bendgate".
The new Tattoogate appears to happen when an Apple Watch can't accurately read heart rates on tattooed wrists or even darker-coloured skin. The watch has trouble detecting such wrists, but keep in mind many smartwatches and wearable fitness devices with similar sensor technology also suffer from similar problems.
In other words: before you shell out thousands (potentially) on the latest wrist gadget from Apple, make sure you give it a test drive at an Apple Store. It might not be a fan of your ink or skin pigmentation.