The pinnacle of a vending machine's career used to be nothing more than dispensing a Dairy Milk.
Vodafone's Quickphone models, though, are an entirely new beast – feed it some cash, and you'll get nothing less than a Pay As You Talk mobile.
The new kiosks are initially only being piloted in Manchester's Vodafone stores, but the ultimate aim is to have them as far afield as train stations and festivals.
The phones' cost of £30 plus a £5 Sim pack isn't exactly spare change, but you do get the choice of three handsets, which will be updated monthly to keep the range fresh.
It still makes forgetting to charge your mobile an expensive mistake, although the cost is all obviously relative to how much financial, physical or emotional pain you'll inflict if you don't make your emergency call.
The machines themselves are quite impressive, using 3G technology to inform Vodafone when its stocks are running low. They're also the first vending machines to include Chip and Pin technology, although cash is accepted as well.
No-one on the Stuff team has yet been marooned in the Scottish highlands away from a telephone booth, but we'll reign in our cynicism just in case. Besides, we'll take a Quickphone kiosk over our coffee machine anyday.