Of course, as with so many cutting edge technologies, the new tech is being looked at first and foremost for the armed forces, and it's decidedly less adept at handling the situations we mention above. Instead of managing direct impacts, the Boeing system is instead meant to counteract shockwaves, of the sort produced by improvised explosive devices and it'll do so in a far less dramatic fashion than one of the many force fields or "shields" shown in science fiction, like Star Trek.
To explain it, we're just going to let Foxtrot Alpha explain, because frankly, we've no idea what the hell they're on about:
Anyone else get that? No? Good. Neither did we.
"The concept behind Boeing's force field goes something like this: a sensor mounted on a vehicle would detect a shock wave caused by a nearby explosion. A computer then figures out the range direction of the shock wave based on sensor data so that it can know how to defend against it. As with all things in life, timing is everything.
Then, an 'arc generator' creates a 'second medium' (atmosphere being the first) by initiating an electronic arc that travels along a conducive path via a laser system that emits a series of pulses. The combination of which ionizes the atmosphere between the vehicle and the shock wave and creates a plasma field that temporarily protects the vehicle from the incoming shock waves."
Despite an utter lack of understanding of such a cutting edge technology, we can certainly get behind its purpose, as well as its future applications, which FA claims could include both vessels and aircraft. Here's hoping it jumps from the planning stages to actual applications sooner rather than later.