New Vending Machine in Post Office Lobbies

Automated Postage Center and Indicia (Stamp)
The post office has been hyping these machines for a while. They are kind of neat in that they allow you to buy a specific amount of postage and you can mail packages over 16 ounces without taking them to the counter. The machine only accepts plastic and does not take cash.

BoingBoing reports that the machine takes your picture with the transaction and won’t work if you cover the camera. I can confirm that this is the case, although it just gives a general error like “We can’t sell you postage right now” as opposed to telling you it is because of the camera. It appears to just check the light level. If you hold a piece of white paper several inches in front, it will sell you postage.

The post office isn’t saying, but I suspect this is supposed to be some sort of anti-fraud or anti-terrorism feature.

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