Lightweight, flexible body armor that looks like dragon scales and is more comfortable to wear than today’s bulletproof vests could be available within two years.

The armor, designed to stiffen when hit with a high-velocity projectile, also will provide increased ease of movement and more body coverage.

Today’s bulletproof vests are made from strong fibers that absorb the impact of a projectile. For added protection, ceramic plates often are inserted into the vests.

The problem with these vests, says Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, is that they hinder movement by weighing officers down.

Body armor is effective only if it always is worn while in the line of duty; if it’s not comfortable, officers will take it off. “If officers can’t wear a vest comfortably day in and day out, then it’s not any value to us,” Canterbury says.

More here.