The era of vending machines (if there ever was one) seems to be in the midst of a long, inexorable decline. They've been pulled out of the "ice machine" areas of most of the hotels I've stayed in over the last few years, I've noticed, leaving behind these oversized rectangles of darker paint and idle electrical sockets where they once stood. Not only are they less ubiquitous than they once were, but they seem to sell fewer types of goods as well. I can't remember the last time I saw one selling anything other than soda or those little bags of potato chips.
But one company is now rolling out vending machines that sell gold bars. A 2 minute CNN piece about the first one is embedded below. Interestingly, the machine updates the price of gold every 10 seconds, apparently. The founder's passing reference to passports also intrigued me.