The world of science fiction just merged into reality a little more. Boeing has taken out a patent on what could be the first step to force fields. The technology is called shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc and uses lasers to lessen the shockwave of explosions. The technology does not protect against shrapnel, but most military vehicles are armored anyway.
The explanation and diagrams that can be seen here explains how sensors will detect the explosion near the devise. This will activate the lasers to heat up the water or air between the vehicle and the explosion and form a plasma barrier. This barrier will deflect and negate the blast effect of the explosion.
A personnel carrier will have its shield activated by a roadside explosion that a tank’s sensors would be able to ignore. Brian Torchin has learned that the plan is to have a computer database that contains records of different bomb signatures attached to the sensors to determine the threat level and effect needed.