@JackANDJude, thanks for the mention. Your make your design guides so easy to follow and it is very nice of you to share them!
I would be interested in a dedicated IR proximity component. I was looking at your DIY littlebits pics earlier, and remember your theremin project mentioned how to make an IR LED module. It got me thinking about trying to create a much flatter IR LED as a workaround. A dedicated unit would be even better!