Amazon is now accepting your applications for its home surveillance drone

First announced at last year’s Amazon hardware event, the Ring Always Home Cam is now ready for take-off. Starting today, September 28th, you can request an invitation to be a crash-test dummy for Ring’s newest innovation. The Always Home Cam is a Ring camera attached to a drone that can fly predetermined paths in your home when triggered via a Ring Alarm sensor or from the Ring app. The camera costs $249.99; if you live in the US, you can apply for an invitation to buy it today, and the devices will ship later this year.

Designed to solve the problem of wanting to be able to see inside your home when you’re not there but not wanting to have dozens of cameras watching you when you are, the Always Home Cam only records when it’s in flight. When not in use, it sits in its charging dock that blocks its lens. It can fly to specific viewpoints on demand — such as the front door or kitchen stove — and can also tie into a Ring Alarm home security system and buzz over to any action — such as a door or window opening when the alarm is armed.

In the year since it announced the product, Ring has been working on refining the ambitious device and essentially making sure it won’t go on a rampage through your home. “It’s not an overstatement to say we’ve made a thousand refinements to it,” Ring founder Jamie Siminoff said in an interview ahead of the announcement. “We learned how to fly.” While they had working prototypes when they announced in 2020, it’s only now ready for regular people’s homes, says Siminoff. But not everyone’s.

Ring is rolling out the invite-only program as a sort of post-beta test flight. “I have it in my home, and it does work,” said Siminoff. “But today’s homes are so unique, so we really need to get it into more customers’ homes to make sure everything we are doing is right.” After all, it is an autonomous flying machine in your home. “With any other product, we would have probably just been shipping. With this one, we are going to take our time, make sure it’s right before we go to full, general availability.”