Rust for Augmented Reality |

Rust for Augmented Reality |

Rust is a powerful systems programming language designed for safety, concurrency, and performance. It is a highly versatile language, appreciated for its memory safety guarantees while providing a highly functional runtime speed. The introduction of Rust into Augmented Reality (AR), an industry exploring innovative strategies to increase precision, performance, and security, is a match made in heaven.

What is Rust?

Rust attempts to bring a greater level of safety and performance to systems programming. Its most notable feature is its memory safety without garbage collection, which forms the foundation of any high-performance application. Due to a combination of zero-cost abstractions, a borrow checker, and other safety features, Rust code can maintain optimal effectiveness and reliability in a broad array of applications, including AR.

Rust is known for preventing many class bugs at compile-time that are common in other languages, meaning that a huge number of problems are avoided before the program ever runs. It's designed to be memory safe without a garbage collector, making it an attractive choice for applications where performance matters.

Why Use Rust for Augmented Reality (AR)?

AR applications rely heavily on processing power and hardware connectivity, making them prone to memory-related issues and inefficiencies. This is where Rust's main strengths shine. Leveraging Rust in AR development presents a variety of perks:

  1. Performance and Speed: Rust is as fast as C++ and can achieve lower-level control of system resources. This raw speed and control are crucial in AR, where robust data and image processing require substantial computing resources.

  2. Memory Safety: Rust provides memory safety without a garbage collector. This safety is crucial in AR, where memory leaks and undefined behaviors can lead to crashes and poor user experiences.

  3. Concurrency without Data Races: Rust's ownership model guarantees safe data manipulation in a multicore environment - a key factor in managing AR rendering and tracking systems.

The Advantages of Rust in AR Development

The promise of AR includes the ability to blur the line between the digital and physical worlds. However, these capabilities require immense speed, power, and safety - exactly what Rust offers. Here are the key advantages Rust provides for AR development:

Excellent Performance

Rust provides zero-cost abstractions, meaning that developers can write high-level code without worrying about the runtime cost. This makes it easier to write code that's closer to the hardware, and readers can easily understand the code.

Memory Safety

Thanks to Rust's ownership system, it's possible to achieve system memory safety. A common problem in AR development is the unexpected modification of data, causing various fatal errors. The Borrow Checker ensures that data isn't accessed simultaneously from two different points in the program - mitigating serious errors.

Concurrency Without Fear

Creating an appealing AR application involves intricate details with numerous moving parts needing to be managed simultaneously. With Rust’s concurrency management, it's possible to manage different parts of an AR application simultaneously without worrying about complicating the code.

Rust in Action: AR Examples

  1. Rust-AR: This is a robust feature tracking library that handles marker-based tracking. It’s designed for augmented reality applications with marker tracking, pose estimation, and image processing routines built into it.

You may also be interested in exploring the OpenXR crate available on, which is widely used for developing AR applications using Rust. 2. Iron Sight: This is a space-based AR game built entirely using Rust. The adoption of Rust showed significant improvements in memory management and gaming performance.

  1. Arcore Chemical Elements: A simple AR Android-based application that shows chemical elements floating around the user. It’s a good example of a Rust-based AR mobile application.


The AR industry continues to grow, and with it, the need for a progressive, safe, and high-performance language like Rust. The unique benefits of Rust - speed, memory safety, and concurrency - make it an ideal candidate for challenging AR applications. The technology is evolving, and Rust is set to create a lasting impact on the world of AR.



Q: Can Rust work well with AR development?
A: Yes, Rust is ideally suited for AR development with its excellent performance, memory safety, and concurrency abilities.

Q: What is Rust's advantage in AR development?
A: Rust's advantage in AR development lies in its performance, memory safety, concurrent processing, and security. It aids in handling complex AR projects without compromising performance and security.

Q: Are there any AR applications developed using Rust?
A: Yes, several AR applications like Rust-AR, Iron Sight, and Arcore Chemical Elements have been developed using Rust, demonstrating its effectiveness in AR development.

Q: Is Rust hard to learn for AR development? A: While Rust has a steeper learning curve compared to some other languages due to its unique features like the borrow checker, it offers extensive documentation and an active community, which can help you learn and apply Rust in AR development.

Q: How does Rust improve performance in AR applications? A: Rust employs zero-cost abstractions, meaning developers can write very high-level code, which performs as if it was written close-to-the-metal. This enhances performance, crucial for AR applications which often demand high-quality real-time interactions.

Q: How does Rust provide memory safety in AR development? A: Rust ensures memory safety by using a system of ownership with a set of rules that the compiler checks at compile-time. This eliminates data races, which is critical in AR development where unexpected modification of data can lead to fatal errors.