What Is the Motion Eye on the Sony Vaio?

by Shea Laverty

The Sony Motion Eye is a camera installed in some models of the Sony Vaio laptop line; its name comes from the camera's unique rotating design. Despite this nifty feature, the Motion Eye is otherwise a fairly run-of-the-mill built-in laptop camera. As such, it is well-suited to many tasks that may come up during the course of use with the Vaio, especially when communications are concerned.

Rotating Camera

The Motion Eye gets its name from its rotating camera. Like most laptop cameras, the Motion Eye is set in the bezel at the top of the screen, where it can be at optimal height for webcam duty. It can be rotated 180 degrees so that all subjects on the other side of the laptop can also be photographed. The camera can also photograph subjects above the laptop, and at any point between pointing at you and pointing at someone sitting opposite to you.

Focus Ring

Another unique quality of the Motion Eye is its manual focus. Set on the top and bottom edges of the Motion Eye is the focus ring, a small plastic ring which can be turned to manually adjust focus. This gives you more fine control over the focus of your picture, improving the Motion Eye slightly as a still photography camera. The focus ring can also be used to tune the focus during video recording, enabling you to perfect the focus before making a webcam call.


The Motion Eye can be used as a still camera, video camera and a webcam. Since it is built into the bezel of the Vaio's lid and paired with a monaural microphone, it fulfills the role of webcam best and is more than adequate for most video chatting programs like Skype and Yahoo Messenger. It can also be used as a still camera, although its low-resolution pictures and ungainly attachment to the Vaio make it better suited to self photography and close subjects. It can also be used to shoot videos, although it is hampered in a similar fashion by the restrictive placement and image quality.


Despite the novel design of the Motion Eye, the camera is limited to older models of the Vaio, including the Vaio PictureBook. Newer models as of October 2013 are instead equipped with a more traditional built-in camera with a higher resolution. Legacy support for the Motion Eye continues as of October 2013, with driver downloads still available.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Victoria Henderson