Based on @Nklerk’s work the dock has been updated to include an esp8266, an IR receiver and 4 IR LEDs. For convenience, I also put a USB to serial on the board, upgraded to USB-C and placed a headphone jack to be used with IR extenders. Because of the IR, the top of the dock is going to be the same 1mm tinted acrylic that we use on the remote around the buttons. It works with IR as the proximity sensor is also using that to measure proximity. I think it’s going to look great! Best of all that the size of the dock stays the same!
In the past week I have been testing the new PCBs with the updated charger IC and so far it has been working great. Much better than the previous IC that I used. I keep crunching the test remotes to make sure it will work long term as well.
Did also some testing regarding battery life. Wi-Fi always on and average use during the day, the remote lasted 12 hours until it went down to 9% battery. I repeated the test 3 times and approximately got similar results. That is of course not days, but it will last long enough to go through the day.