Hello, there is an IR sensor on the device it self but I never saw any documentation on how to use it. Maybe you can dig up stuff about it on the internet.
As for the lagging 1080 movie, I would assume it is the unrefined software on the hardware. By specifications it should be powerful enough for 1080p, but hey, even Moto G runs 720p.
Until BPI come out with a new image there is not much we can do.