Adam Wrobel and Michael Grisanti of Cornell University built this device that tracks sound impluses:
The core of our system is hardware based analog circuit, which filters, amplifies, and processes the sounds obtained from the microphones. By utilizing hardware for this, we are able to high frequency signal processing without taxing the microcontroller. Also, we remove the need to use the relatively slow ADC of the microcontroller by processing all the analog signals in hardware and converting them to binary digital pulses. However, the main tradeoff here is that the analog hardware limited our accuracy in a way that is very difficult to measure. Every stage of the circuit has real world inefficiencies and tolerances, which could accumulate in minute error. No matter how fast or thorough our software system is, it can only work with the values received from the analog hardware.
Via Hacked Gadgets.
Check out the video after the break.