The Arch: Using Rust & WebAssembly to animate 30k colored LED lights


In June, Mozilla collaborated with an artist named Ian Brill to create an installation called the “Arch” at JSConf EU in Berlin. This interactive environment allowed people to experience the intersection of art and technology in a physical, pulsating, immersive way.

Visitors could view the larger-than-life Arch and experience an ever-changing light show of 30,000 colored LEDs. To support the exhibit, Mozilla engineers built a platform that enabled anyone to use web technologies (with underlying implementation in Rust & WebAssembly) to control the Arch animations and makes the light display interactive. The result was fun and colorful — and it gave developers a chance to interact with unfamiliar new technologies.

You may recall reading Lin Clark’s post about “Baby’s First Rust+WebAssembly module“. It gives an excellent overview of why we decided to create an art installation around Rust and WebAssembly. TL:DR: “Hello World” projects are fine, but this provides a fun and engaging way to learn something new.

JSConf recently posted the full video of Lin’s talk online. You can check it out below:

Additional Links:

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Learn more about using Rust with Web

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