Yeh, metal-tape measures stopped being cool right around the time ThinkGeek started selling the Smart String, which has 50-inches of retractable string that can bend around curved things. BUT WAIT! It also tells you the measurements on the LCD screen.
That's to three decimal places, motherlucker. It also has a small amount of onboard memory so can store the last three measurements in case you don't have a pen and paper with you, and a small flashlight and sprit level.