Isaac Daniel, a Miami company that makes shoes with GPS technology, has signed a $75 million deal to have its products distributed within the former Soviet Republics, known as the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The five-year deal is with Victory Grand Development, a Delaware company with offices in Moscow. It will be the exclusive marketer and distributor for both the GPS footwear and FindU, a palm-sized GPS locator that can be worn on a belt (pictured here).
Today I spoke with Sayo Isaac Daniel, chief executive of the company that shares his name. When I first did a story about his product in January 2007, he said he had goals to get the shoes on store shelves by March 2007. But that hasn't happened, and he said it's because he has since spent time improving the antenna and the accuracy of the location-tracking technology. The company is also currently working with the U.S. military, but Daniel didn't give further details. (It's probably for military boots with GPS tracking technology.)
I asked if this deal meant that he's taking the company in a new direction and will no longer focus on American consumers. He said that's not exactly the case -- it's just that Europe has a better economy and he rather put effort into that market for now.
When I asked if brand competition was a problem for him in America (Would a kid pick an Isaac Daniel GPS shoe over a Nike?) he said that wasn't an issue: "We don't have any challenges at all here," he said. He went on to say the company's recent challenge has been with making improvements to the antenna, and before they sold it, they wanted to make sure the tracking technology was "99.9 percent" accurate.
He said the FindU will retail for about $220, and the GPS sneaker costs about $350.
Next on Isaac's list: The unveiling of MyISP, a GPS device similar to FindU that has the added feature of being a high-speed wireless Internet card. But more information on that, he says, will be released later this summer.