Last week, Clint published the Coding4Fun Holiday Gift Guide 2006 and I spammed some internal Microsoft aliases that I thought would be interested in the list of presents. Long story short, it turns out that our own Sara Ford happens to be the proud owner of one of our picks for the top 10 presents for developers, the Scrolling LED Belt Buckle.

Of course, I had to ask Sara to bring it in and show it off, so here's Sara striking a Karate pose wearing the Scrolling LED Belt Buckle.

In case you don't know, Sara is a tournament winning black-belt, and works on Josh's team on things like the VS Power Toys and other DevDiv open source projects.  

 

Here's a close-up of the Scrolling LED Belt Buckle with a "Love VS" message

 

"The Photo Shoot"

For these shots, I brought in my Canon EOS 20D Digital SLR and shot the Karate shots at high-speed and the close-up shots at low speed using a tripod to steady the camera. Interestingly enough, photographing this was tougher than expected because:

  • We were photographing in the middle of a hallway in building 41
  • The message is scrolling which means you need to time it correctly
  • I'm asking Sara to hold still during a strenuous Karate pose
  • LED displays are actually an optical illusion, more below

 

LEDs are an optical illusion
At any point in time, any portion of the LEDs in the scrolling message will be actually turning themselves on and off many times a second. While the human eye doesn't see these small variations, a digital camera capturing at a high speed does. Here's a close-up of the LED display photographed at high speed which shows that our eyes are too slow to notice the missing "V" from VS.

 

Big thanks to Sara for being a good sport and showing off her LED Belt Buckle!