Hi Legalman, Here is some handy info for you from www.ba.com:
"Self-Service Check-in Machines
Avoid the queues with our Self-Service Check-in machines.
Located near the check-in area, Self Service Check-in Machines allow you to check-in for your flight if you have an ATB ticket (cardboard ticket with magnetic stripe on the back), or e-ticket. You may also change your seat if availability allows. The "How to check-in" section of this web site contains more information about the different ways to use the Self-Service Check-in machine.
Let us take you through the Self-Service Check-in process step-by-step and you'll see how easy it is to get through the Terminal and onto the plane."
In the USA we only have the SelfService machines at JFK only.
There is a really good demo you can run. To launch the demonstration go to...
I have used the machines myself and love it!! Super quick and fun!