This is a Manfrotto 1052BAC Black Alu Compact Stand. It rises to a maximum height of 7.75′ (2.3 m), and is air cushioned. Formerly known as a "Stacker", this stand now has what is called the QSS - Quick Stand System. When folded, two or more of these stands may connected to each other to ease storage or transport.
Air cushioning protects fingers and mounted equipment. If the stand sections are not sufficiently tightened, mounted equipment eases down to minimum height instead of slamming down suddenly.