A blackout put a damper on innovation in the desert Wednesday, as the power went down for approximately two hours in parts of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the second day of CES, a massive annual electronics tradeshow organized by the Consumer Technology Association.
While downpours are a rarity in Vegas, heavy rains on Monday and Tuesday are apparently at the root of the outage, according to a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 10, by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility's transformers,” the statement said. “We are grateful to NV Energy for their swift assistance, to our customers and their clients for their patience and to the staff for ensuring the safety and security of all."
The flashover, a high-voltage electric short circuit, occurred at roughly 11:15 a.m. local time, causing the Central Hall and South Hall bridge meeting rooms to lose power. Power in the South Hall was restored within minutes while power in all areas was fully restored about two hours later, and the Central Hall was reopened.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been trending all day with #CESBlackout.
While most companies were unable to show off their slick products, Canon took advantage of the situation to demonstrate the capabilities of its ME20F-SH camera through a video posted on Facebook after a walk around the areas of the convention center that were dark. The camera features a full frame CMOS sensor with the capability of more than 4 million ISO to capture video in near darkness.
CES 2018, which began on Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 12, is the largest annual gathering of technology companies in the world and attracts tens of thousands of people each year.