October 22nd, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Could this be President Obama's first iPad signature?

President Obama signed Sylvester Cann's iPad at a rally Thursday.

Sylvester Cann didn't think it would work. But he figured it was worth a try.

And, lo and behold, where others seeking President Obama's signature with a pen and paper had failed, Cann obtained the commander in chief's autograph on his iPad, in what's believed to be the first instance of the president signing an iPad for an autograph-seeker.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The legislative aide was at a rally Thursday at the University of Washington in Seattle when the idea came to him. He was on the rope line, right near where the president would pass by, and he didn't have a pen and paper.

But he did have his iPad.

"I thought, I won't be able to give him a pen, so I might as well pull up a drawing app on the iPad and see if I can make it happen," said Cann, a University of Washington alumnus.

Using the Adobe Ideas app, he wrote his request on the iPad screen - "Mr. President, sign my iPad" - and held it up as Sen. Patty Murray made her way down the line, followed by President Obama.

At first, a Secret Service agent nodded disapprovingly at the iPad, Cann said. But, when Cann shook Obama's hand and gestured toward the iPad, the president appeared to be intrigued.

"I said, 'you can sign it with your finger,' and I showed him how to do it in the corner," he said.

A YouTube video shows the president signing the screen and smiling at Cann before walking off.

"I definitely got the sense that he was surprised. It didn’t seem like he had done it before," Cann said. "But I also got the sense he thought it was a cool idea, because he looked back up at me quickly, like he thought it was fun."

People around him with pens and paper were not allowed to obtain a signature, Cann said, so they took pictures of his iPad.

At first, Cann thought little of the digital autograph, until friends pointed out that it could be the first-ever "Obama iPad signature."

Since then, Cann's phone has been ringing, and he has set up a website and posted the YouTube video documenting the encounter.

"I think it’s fun," he said. "I'm a big fan of technology, so when people are able to do things like this, it's using technology to its fullest advantage. It's cool."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Technology
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. T-2000

    Tony I was thinking the same thing! I hope knowone trys to misuse the presidents signature. Im sure the secret service is on it.

    October 23, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Brieske

    Obama is the worst whatever in history so far. That is a fact.
    Admit your mistake in voting for him. It's really simple.
    I am more intelligent than you are. Enough written in addressing people who are either too stupid, naive or trusting to see a man is not an American first.
    In fact, Obama hates the United States of America and Israel so much, he is going to allow the Iranians to reach their goal of being able to build nuclear weapons.
    And someday, if those of us attempting to prevent it fail, I hope a liberal city in the USA receives the first terrorist nuclear weapon strike and not Washington D.C.
    You Obama supporters have failed to see the big picture. You are not intelligent enough. Not insulting, just stating a fact.
    Much like cherries are red.

    October 23, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. T-2000

    AmusedAtTimes thanks for your comment!! President Obama is so hated by some people that no matter what he does in their eyes he will be wrong. If President Obama could fly and leap buildings in a single bound his detractors would say "that was ok...but he didnt walk on water!" MORAL TO THE STORY: President Obama is just in a no win situation for some people.

    October 23, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tony

    Wow. What a bunch of negative blatherers in here.
    This is a neat little story. It's a president who has a human side, instead of being a political machine. This suggests he's interested in technology and actually finds the time to have a bit of fun while he's doing his thing. That's pretty damn cool, if you ask me. So lighten up and let a bit of fun into your lives, huh?

    October 23, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jim Brieske

    T-2000, Me, Tony and A Different Tony. I addressed democrat supporters of Obama like you four as being stupid. Which is true because you proved it by ignoring my criticisms of Obama. Instead you write meaningless garbage which is common tactic by those incapable presenting a rebuttal argument because I write the truth.
    You are sorry pathetic individuals who really should not be allowed to vote.
    Night morons.

    October 23, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sherri W.W.


    October 23, 2010 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jim Brieske

    Me. I apologize. I misread what you wrote. I agree with you. Ah, good to have another intelligent person awake at this time.
    Hope you will forgive my quick reading causing the error.

    October 23, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. zehydra

    and the last president

    October 23, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jim Brieske

    Sherri W.W.
    He has taken 6 vacations.
    He golfs every Sunday all Summer except the one time he went to church. We are at War! Americans have their lives on the line, he should be in church every Sunday. Or howbout he get out there in the battle area, go hunting humans or get hunted by humans. Our soldiers will happily come home and go to church on Sundays.
    He has a girlfriend. Probably many more than Tiger Woods. Think about it. Look at Tiger's ex wife. Hot. He had 15 girlfriends. Look at Michelle. Fat, has 30 pounds too much weight in her rearend. Take 15 times 30. Obama has 450 girlfriends. It's simple math. I'm calling it the TWMO Theory.
    He is not hard working. He is working on getting a hard on.

    October 23, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • tnwoman1948

      It is obvious from your rantings you are drunk on alcohol or high on drugs. Stop partaking, go to bed and sleep it off.

      October 23, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jimi H.

    This is a cute story...not a political referendum.

    Jeez – spunds like the Yankees lost tonight. People are upset!

    October 23, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimi H.


      there – fixed my spelling mistake before we have several posts commenting on that as well.

      October 23, 2010 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. TBL4EVA

    Hey! Obama did something during his presidency other than fill out an NCAA basketball bracket. Maybe he can predict a Super Bowl winner in a couple months!!!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tony Bartlett

    Who gives a Fvck?!? The guy is just a man. That's all he is. Just a damn man! A man who happens to be helpling to destroy our country and our future. This isn't news! When he signs his letter of resignation. That will be news and very good news at that!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ebolter

    Does CNN own Apple or does Apple own CNN ? Every other day I see 'Apple this and Apple that ' , on here . Just wait , there will be another Apple story in a few hours . Tell me I'm wrong .

    October 23, 2010 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Could it be that IBM. DELL and the rest just are BORING! And at least Apple is trying to make technology for the masses!. And Im', not even an apple fan!

      October 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    It's news because, in the future, this will be a pretty cool thing for people to look at and say, "Here's an intersection of politics and advancement. Here's a moment where America has reached a significant benchmark in terms of forward thinking. The best technology to date, signed by the first African-American president." I think it's a unique news story and that people should stop complaining about "subliminal advertising."

    October 23, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. mr.mark

    I'll look for it on eBay next week... starting bid $2000!

    October 23, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
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