ABSTRACT: We outline a toolbox comprised of passive optical elements, single photon detection and superpositions of coherent states (Schrödinger cat states). Such a toolbox is a powerful collection of primitives for quantum information processing tasks. We illustrate its use by outlining a proposal for universal quantum computation. We utilize this toolbox for quantum metrology applications, for instance weak force measurements and precise phase estimation. We show in both these cases that a sensitivity at the Heisenberg limit is achievable.