Research is ongoing in the Computer Vision field and there are certainly ways to get more detail than what we see in Photosynth's point clouds, which are referred to as a 'sparse reconstruction'.
Once a tool such as Photosynth has solved for all of the camera positions for a synth, other programs can be used to perform multi-view stereo, inverse ray-tracing, etc. to obtain a dense reconstruction of the content of the photos. This can certainly be thought of as the growth of panorama stitching into the third dimension.
For the time being, Photosynth's focus with synths is using that sparse reconstruction as a means of organizing the actual original photos in 3D space and allowing people to quickly and smoothly download only the detail in the photos which currently fits on their screen as they zoom in.
I hope that clarifies the differences between photosynths and panoramas for you. In your case, I believe that using ICE would give you exactly what you're after.