As if we needed further proof that accessory makers absolutely love the iPhone and will stop at nothing to figure out all sorts of contraptions for the king of smartphones, we can now check off "sliding keyboard" from the want list. The Nuu Media Key is being shown off at IFA in prototype form, and you have to at least give the company an "A" for effort, if not in execution.
In adding slightly more bulk to the born-svelte iPhone 4, the Mini Key does feature illuminated keys and connects to the phone via Bluetooth, while also including a microUSB port for charging to make up for the covered dock connector. Since there is no extended battery in the Mini Key's hard-shell case, expect that iPhone of yours to need a few more trips to the nearest AC outlet.
Hopefully the Mini Key can be cleaned up a bit before it's released, as the build quality looks like it could be improved, but at an expected price of $60, the thing still looks like a bargain. Maybe this is just the accessory to get other companies interested in physical keyboards for the iPhone, because I would love to see something that could maybe expand into a fuller-size keyboard or even something that uses the magnetic attachment like the underrated HTC Advantage from a few years back.[Engadget Spanish via Engadget]