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As reported, the first Bitcoin ATM machine is scheduled to land in Vancouver in Oct, 2013. The followup machines are scheduled to land in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary sometime in Dec, 2013.
The importance of these machines is the improvement in accessibility to Bitcoins themselves.
Currently, in order to purchase Bitcoins, you must either meet face to face with a person willing to sell you them directly, or through an online exchange. In Canada, the most popular exchange is VirtEx. However, there are other more popular exchanges throughout the world, namely Mt.Gox and BTC-e.
However, if you are Canadian, there are still some immense challenges using the world wide exchanges of Mt.Gox and BTC-e. In order to use these exchanges, you must first deposit your funds via International Bank Wire Transfer. As you might expect there is a significant fee involved in this process and a significant time delay for the funds to arrive.
If you use the local Canadian Bitcoin exchange VirtEx, there are similar issues with fees and delays since the Canadian banking system is still not comfortable working with Bitcoin. Therefore, you must deposit your funds to VirtEx through a similar banking transfer methods such as Direct Withdrawl or Online Bill Payment. Both these methods are significantly quicker than bank wire transfers but will still take 3-5 business days to succeed. This causes additional frustration to users of Bitcoin since the Bitcoin system is very quick to send money around the world but is hampered by the process of turning cash into Bitcoins themselves.
However, with the Bitcoin ATM, the transfer of cash to Bitcoins is almost instantaneous with very limited involvement by third parties and therefore lower fees.
Another benefit to the ATM is to sell your Bitcoins for instant cash. This also brings accessibility of Bitcoins back to casual users.
Moreover, anyone can feel comfortable that they can transfer Bitcoins back to fiat funds at any point they choose.