So what is speed dating, and more specifically, how does speed dating work?

These services compile the data from brief encounters between daters and then inform each attendee of the results, allowing interested parties that scored a "match" to pursue another meeting with each other.

The original Speed Dating service is still intended to help those of the Jewish faith find a shidduch.

However, others have extended their scope to include people of all religions, shapes, sizes, interests and sexual orientations.

It has so permeated Western popular culture that even those who aren't looking for love know what it is.

The concept was introduced to the American dating scene at the turn of the 20th century by Rabbi Yaacov Deyo and his wife, Sue, who founded their own service, Speed Dating.

The service is based on an old Jewish tradition: helping young, single Jews meet others in the faith.

This tradition of creating a shidduch, or a match, called for Jewish singles to be kept in the dark about each other until the time for matchmaking came.

Speed Dating and its offshoots have captured the imagination of popular culture, fitting nicely into the fast-paced environment of 21st-century America.

In 2000, the dating technique reached craze status, spreading quickly to rest of the Western world, taking strong footholds in both England and Australia.