Sony has been building their Dynamic Android Sensor HAL (DASH), which is a software environment that interfaces with various hardware sensors. The biggest problem with getting new versions of Android to run on old hardware is getting all the sensors working, especially when the version of Android is a significant change. When Ice Cream Sandwich launched, all ports did not have working sensors at first. Even after a long time, some sensors couldn’t be made working.
Sony’s project aims to make sensors mere plug and play, instead of having to rewrite drivers from scratch. And now they’re open sourcing the whole project, hoping the community can improve it and use it for making custom ROMs. It’s good to see Sony embracing the developer community, it’s what can really get them popular. We may be a minority, but we are louder than the majority.