We've posted about the Peel universal IR remote before. It's an interesting setup using a third-party unit that looks almost like a pear, designed to fit right into your living room wirelessly. It connects to an iOS app and turns your iDevice into a universal remote for any other units you might happen to have. In addition to the slick design, there's a nice bit of TV browsing functionality included. It's a remote designed not only to help you control your TV, but also give you an idea of what you actually want to do with it.
It's that kind of overall thinking that got the unit into Apple Stores, and now the hard work has paid off. Peel has picked up a round of funding to the tune of over US$16 million. There have been a few other ways to connect the iPhone up to IR remotes (the Redeye has been another popular solution), but this is the biggest vote of confidence we've seen in such a device yet. Peel certainly isn't quite a mainstream device, but this funding is definitely a leg up. There's been a trend toward using smartphones to interact with and control other devices, and Peel looks to be in exactly the right place to take advantage.
If nothing else, hopefully this will help Peel get some units out the door; Amazon currently lists the product as shipping "within 1 to 2 months." $16 million should help out with that.