Vending machines have come a long way since the first one was invented in ancient Egypt, when a mathematician invented a device that dispensed holy water in return for a bronze coin.
This year, the world’s first vending machine restaurant opened in Singapore, where customers can choose hot or cold meals, including traditional favourites like nasi briyani, to be dispensed from the “Chef in Box” technology.
But food and drink isn’t the only use for a vending machine these days – there’s a whole host of these mechanical shops stocking all sorts of strange wares around the world. Here are a few of our favourites.
The gift machine, Dubai
Gift giving is one of the holiday season’s greatest joys, but we’ve all got that friend or family member who is impossible to buy for. Thankfully, S*uce Gifts in Dubai’s Village Mall has the answer: the gift vending machine dispenses everything from scented candles to perfume and lingerie – all at the touch of a button. And you don’t need to worry about wrapping it either, because your chosen present will come in a beautiful, shiny gold gift bag.