If you are looking to get on the POV bandwagon, this is a simple way to do it.
“In this first article on microcontrollers, Erik Zoltan tells you what they are and how they work to your advantage. He presents a few simple examples illustrating how microcontrollers can be used, and gives you a complete implementation of a kinetic glowstick that uses persistence of vision to display images with a flashing row of LEDs.
Thanks to recent advances in technology, computers have been getting smaller and cheaper. Today, for a few dollars at most, and in some cases as a little as fifty cents, you can get a single-chip computer that would have cost thousands of dollars a couple of decades ago. Instead of taking up most of your desktop, it will now fit on your finger or maybe even your fingernail, depending on the model you choose.
These single-chip computers are called microcontrollers. From the perspective of an electronic circuit, a microcontroller is just another component, like a transistor with more legs. Two of the pins are used for power (positive and negative voltage), and some additional pins may have predefined meanings. But most of the pins are programmable, meaning that you can use them however you want, as either inputs or outputs, and often both. ”