What Happens During Blackout at World's Biggest Tech Show

Power went out at Consumer Electronics Show for nearly 2 hours Wednesday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2018 5:11 PM CST
The central hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center is evacuated after a power outage during CES International, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – With apologies to Alanis Morissette: "It's like rain on your wedding day; it's a blackout at a giant tech show..." USA Today reports the power went out for nearly two hours Wednesday in two of the main halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the Consumer Electronics Show. CES is, as NBC News notes, the biggest tech show in the world. But the outage left many of its exhibits visible only by cellphone light—if they were visible at all. Photos posted to social media showed rooms of people lit by phones or simply walls of blackness. For some unlucky attendees, the blackout hit while their phones were inside charging stations, leaving their devices uncharged and locked out of their reach.

The power outage hit shortly after 11am on the second day of CES. “A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility’s transformers,” the Verge quotes the Consumer Technology Association by way of an explanation. About that heavy rainfall: Record-breaking rain on Tuesday had already caused a bit of chaos at CES, flooding a number of booths, including one belonging to Google. Long story short, we hope the Silicon Valley writing staff is paying attention. (Read more Consumer Electronics Show stories.)

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