Easter Egg hidden in Helio Connect press image

When I clicked my way through to the image attached to this morning’s Helio Connect announcement, I couldn’t help but laugh. Not because I find social news site aggregators inherently funny, mind you – but because there’s a little Easter Egg hidden inside and, oddly enough, it’s somewhat related to yours truly.

If you haven’t spotted it by now, take a glance at the second item on the list. “Secret handset”, it reads. Now, before you get too excited that you’re getting a sneak peak at Helio’s next big thing, read on after the jump for the history of this image.

As did many kids of my generation, I pretty much grew up on the internet. Having spent what was probably far too much time in IRC chats and forums, I’d grown accustomed to being able to find a group of people dedicated to rot away hour after hour talking about whatever little niche it was we were collectively interested in. After being a Helio customer for some time and realizing that there was no such group of people available to talk about all things Helio, I decided to get the ball rolling. In May of 2007, Heliocity was born.

Flash forward a few months. Helio’s flagship device, the Ocean, hadn’t even been on the shelves all that long, but folks were already starting to whisper that a followup “Ocean 2” was in the works. The rumors started pouring in and, as with anything that people are even remotely interested in, so did the photoshops.

In July of ’07, a Heliocity member going by “ingoljosh” crafted up this one (forum post here):

Though it certainly tricked plenty of people, it was generally dismissed as a fake – but not before it had already been spread around the internet as a “leaked shot” of the Ocean 2. After it made its way to a few high-traffic blogs, a surprise guest stopped by Heliocity and a few of the blogs that had posted it to kill it once and for all: the Chief Designer of Fujitsu Japan. Turns out the hardware was Fujitsu’s design and, while it existed as a concept phone, it had nothing to do with Helio.

Now, look at that image, and look at the “Secret Handset”. Ta-da! One in the same. More than a year later, and even after we positively know what the Ocean 2 will look like, that image still pops its head up every few weeks. Even with a large (read: huge) chunk of Helio’s staff now employed elsewhere, there remains at least one person in the graphic department with enough insight to throw in a little shout-out to the Helio community of yesteryear. Much love and a high five to whoever that may be.