t's official: there is no escape from the iPad. Even Barack Obama, a man used to firsts, can also go down in the history books as the first US president to autograph an iPad.
After an election rally held at the University of Washington in Seattle on Thursday, President Obama was shaking hands with supporters along the ropeline when one of them, Sylvester Cann, wrote on his iPad "Mr President, sign my iPad," etching the message on the screen using his finger.
In a video of the historic moment posted on YouTube by Cann, as Obama gets near a Secret Service agent can be seen shaking his head, presumably at Cann's high-tech chutzpah.
But when Obama approaches, Cann describes what happened: "He looked at it for a second and then used his left hand to sign. It was kinda funny because he looked up and gave me a big grin afterwards as if he thought it was pretty cool too."
This "first" may not quite rank alongside being the first African American to be elected president. But it will have given him something to tell Apple chief executive Steve Jobs when they met later that afternoon.
Asked recently if he had an iPad, Obama replied: "I have an iReggie, who has my books, my newspapers, my music all in one place" – a reference to his personal aide Reggie Love.
Obama himself is hardly a big Apple fan: he is famously addicted to his Blackberry and has even been seen using a Zune, Microsoft's ill-fated rival to the iPod. A few months ago he declared in a speech: "With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations – none of which I know how to work – information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."