CES 2018: Tech’s biggest show disrupted by blackout

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CES 2018
A partial blackout is seen during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 10, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. REUTERS/Arianna Hoeppner

One of the biggest technology expositions of the year has experienced a very ironic power outage when the lights went out at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Guests and exhibitors were surprised when the power went out at the Las Vegas Convention center shortly after 11 a.m. on the second day of the CES. Without power, most of the companies exhibiting their new technologies on the show were not able to do anything during the blackout.

It was ironic how the show’s hall, which houses booths for technology giants like Samsung, Intel, Sony, LG, and Panasonic, stood in the dark, with the world’s most technologically advanced devices and hardware being left useless, as the electronics show did not have power until it was restored over two hours later.

Heavy rainfall caused the rare power interruption, as Las Vegas experienced an unusually heavy downpour that also caused flooding in some of the booths at the CES, including Google’s.

The CES’ location on the Nevada desert usually offers visitors a respite from the snow and the chilly winter temperatures. However, this year marks an extreme change in weather, as record-breaking rains were experienced in Las Vegas.

“A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility’s transformers,” wrote a statement from the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, NV Energy and the Consumer Technology Association.

The irony was not lost on many of the exhibitors, as companies went on Twitter to join the hosts of users cracking jokes about the CES blackout.

Intel posted a photo of a darkened hall of the show, with the caption, “Introducing Blackoutâ„¢: The biggest thing to hit #CES2018 since #5G.”

Texas Instruments, on the other hand, photos of their booth during the past couple of years. “Our booth looks a little bit different this year,” the company wrote, showing a completely black photo as their 2018 booth.