This is a fairly simple project that is designed to introduce key components to a new Arduino user. I created this in a few hours of tinkering using existing Arduino libraries and a SainSmart starter kit. Real world applications could include users who have difficulty using remote controls or are in food preparation areas etc.
The IR code is configured for use with a Sony TV, the library is courtesy of http://www.righto.com/2009/08/multi-protocol-infrared-remote-library.html
I also took some IR codes for the TV from here: http://www.openremote.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=15532260
Everything else uses the built in Arduino functions and libraries or my own work.