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Got batteries? Power outage stalls giant tech show in Las Vegas

Got batteries? Power outage stalls giant tech show in Las Vegas
CES attendees use the light of their electronic devices at the Jasco Products booth after power went out inside the central hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Wednesday. (David Becker / Getty Images)

What happens to all those internet-connected refrigerators, robots and other devices when the power goes out?

Thousands of people attending the world's biggest consumer technology show got a chance to test the battery life of the latest gadgets Wednesday when some showrooms and hallways went dark inside the vast Las Vegas Convention Center.

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The power was out for at least an hour in some areas of the annual CES event. Conference organizers said on Twitter that it was an "isolated power outage" they were working to resolve.

Dozens of reporters queued quietly for lunch boxes in a darkened press room. The room was dimly lit thanks to emergency overhead lights and the glow of laptops running on battery power.

Rick Rohmer, a product engineer with electrical-systems specialist Legrand, said the power outage affected only part of a booth for Qi, a consortium of companies that make wireless chargers. Most of its display was lit as hundreds of attendees passed by in the dark on their way to a brightly lit giant screen TV over the convention center's fully functioning South Hall.

"We lucked out," he said. "If our extension cord went over there we'd be out of power."

NV Energy, the region's power supplier, hasn't responded to requests for comments.

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