MAKE subscriber Dennis writes in about his hand-made LED clock with motor-actuated defocusing of the digits. Check out his site for a lot more pictures and information about this project, including the CNC machining of the custom aluminum enclosure.
In front of the DRO is an array of lenses that allow for defocusing of the digits as they are shifted by the motor. This creates an unusual effect that can be implemented as desired in the programing. At this time the effect is randomized over the course of a single minute. The electronics clock is a real-time clock w/ battery so that when power is lost the time is retained.
In the Maker Shed: