For years, military technologists have been experimenting with load-bearing exoskeletons that can help soldiers run farther and carry more gear.

Now they're hoping that the systems will help keep them alive, as well. The. U.S. Army is developing a new type of suit that's capable of measuring vital signs, applying wound-sealing sprays and — most importantly — stopping bullets.

An Army statement reveals that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is also in on the project. Its scientists are designing a kind of "liquid armor" that stiffens the moment it encounters something hard, like shrapnel.

U.S. Special Operations Command, which requested the suits, hopes to complete a prototype next year — at which point it'll be two more years before a "more advanced" model will be built, according to Foreign Policy.

The suit itself won't likely be armed. But with other units advancing apace with technologies like giant shipboard lasers, that future can be fun to think about.